Ford Motor Company, citing a spike in demand for its SUVs, announced on Monday that the company will be investing $25 million to boost production at its Louisville, Kentucky, plant by 25 percent.
The Louisville facility, according to Detroit News, employs more than 8,000 workers. The investment will include upgrades to the facility’s technology, data and robotics systems:
The 8,400 employees here build behemoths: Expeditions, Navigators and Super-Duty pickups. The plant runs 24 hours a day, six days a week, with one 24-hour period of scheduled downtime on the weekend. The revenue generated from this plant alone would technically qualify it as a Fortune 500 company, the employees like to brag.
Last year, the plant produced on average just over 1,000 vehicles per day. Hinrichs and Kentucky Truck Plant Manager Andrew Tapp want more.
The company is spending $25 million here—in addition to $900 million in previously announced investments—on robots, data analytics systems and other technology to produce 25 percent more big SUVs than the company had originally planned. The investments come as Ford scales back investment by $7 billion on cars to reinvest that in the SUV and truck lineups.
The technology upgrades will allow employees to 3-D print tools on-site and identify lagging parts of the line to address issues more quickly.
“If we can make more units of things that are in demand, or if we can have less downtime, or if we could have better quality…fitness is all-inclusive,” Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett said. “Fitness is about competing. Fitness is about getting yourself in a spot where you feel confident, and you can compete with everybody else.”
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