One of Kansas City’s biggest employers is driving further into its commitment to local jobs and strengthening its electric vehicle portfolio, adding a third shift at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant and bringing new focus to its evolving strategy.
Ford announced Thursday it is investing $95 million and adding 1,100 new union jobs in Kansas City to increase production of the Transit, America’s best-selling commercial van, and the all-new E-Transit EV.
The Kansas City news is part of Ford’s just-announced plan to create 6,200 new United Auto Worker jobs in the Midwest, convert nearly 3,000 of its temporary employees to full time, and produce 2 million electric vehicles globally by the end of 2026.
“You don’t serve your customers by waiting around,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford Blue, the company’s global internal combustion business. “So we’re moving, and we’re moving now. We’re investing in whole new generations of vehicles, services, technologies and buying experiences for a whole new generation of customers.”
But traditional vehicles — like the seventh-generation Ford Mustang — aren’t going away, he emphasized.
“For the millions of loyal Ford customers who aren’t ready to go electric yet, who want and need Ford’s great gasoline-powered vehicles for years to come, we will continue to build great new iconic vehicles,” Galhotra said.
Ford also is committing $1 billion over five years to improve work experience across the company, he added, noting potential enhancements include better access to healthy food, new EV chargers in plant parking lots, and better lighting in parking lots. Such changes are expected to differ by plant, and it was not immediately clear which might apply to the Kansas City facility.
Ford currently has more than 7,000 employees at its Kansas City plant. In addition to the Transit and E-Transit vans, it also produces the F-150 pickup locally.
“Today’s announcement is great news for our state,” said Mike Parson, governor of Missouri. “For more than 70 years, hardworking Missourians have assembled iconic Ford vehicles. Now, these 1,100 new hourly jobs at the Kansas City Assembly Plant will increase production of the Transit and E-Transit commercial vans, driving Missouri’s economy forward.”
The announcements — which also included new jobs and developments for plants in Ohio and Michigan — come a year after the company detailed its Ford+ plan to transform its global automotive business, accelerating the development and scaling of breakthrough electric, connected vehicles, while leveraging iconic nameplates to strengthen operating performance and take full advantage of engineering and industrial capabilities.
Watch a video of Ford’s livestreamed jobs announcement below.