Kentucky Ford Investment
Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
June 20, 2017

Ford Motor Company announced today a $900 million investment plan into the Louisville, Kentucky plant aimed at building the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. The Expedition and Navigator should be arriving at dealers this fall, and the upgrade also secures 1,000 hourly jobs. Another bonus in today’s news is that the Expedition and Navigator will be exported to over 55 global markets.

“Large SUVs are attracting a new generation around the world – and we’re finding new ways to deliver the capability, versatility and technology that customers around the world really want with our all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president, Global Operations. “At the same time, we also have looked at how we can be more successful in the small car segment and deliver even more choices for customers in a way that makes business sense.”

The small car Mr. Hinrichs is speaking about is the next generation Ford Focus, with production set to begin in the second half of 2019. The next generation Focus will be built at existing plants, but Ford says the car will be “more spacious and packed with technology that customers want.”

Current Focus production continues at the Michigan Assembly Plant, but that plant will be repurposed to produce the new Ranger mid-size truck in late 2018 and the new Bronco in 2020. “Finding a more cost-effective way to deliver the next Focus program in North America is a better plan, allowing us to redeploy the money we save into areas of growth for the company – especially sport utilities, commercial vehicles, performance vehicles as well as mobility, autonomous vehicles and electrified vehicles,” Hinrichs said.

You had us at “performance vehicles,” Mr. Hinrichs.