In a move made possible by the North American Free Trade Agreement, Ford announced it will invest $1.3 billion into a production plan in Mexico. Planned expansion of the plant will create jobs that will enable the automaker to keep up with demand for the 2013 Ford Fusion and 2013 Lincoln MKZ midsize sedans, reports the Detroit Free Press.
Ford jobs for Hermosillo, Mexico
An announcement that the Ford production plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, will receive the $1.3 billion cash infusion has come just a week before the 2013 Lincoln MKZ’s global debut at the upcoming New York Auto Show. At least 1,000 new jobs will be created at the Mexican plant in order to fill the rush of orders for the highly anticipated Lincoln and Ford models.
Lincoln reaches for luxury
With the 2013 Lincoln MKZ, Lincoln is prepared to make a serious move into the luxury car market, a move that the automaker would have preferred come sooner rather than later. A new horizontal grille, retractable glass roof and a series of elegant design touches make the 2013 MKZ a luxury midsize sedan to watch, according to auto industry reports. In order to provide a more upscale buying experience for Lincoln customers, Ford has consolidated the number of Lincoln dealerships in metropolitan markets so that it can focus its efforts more intensely.
Ford Fusion offers hybrid options
The 2013 Ford Fusion will appear in a three different engine configurations, according to Mark Fields, president of the Americas for the Ford Motor Co. A gasoline engine will be available in the basic model, while a gas-electric hybrid and fully electric plug-in model will also be available. The projected demand for the hybrid Fusion helped convince Ford the that investment in the Hermosillo plant was warranted.
Additional expansion of Ford’s AutoAlliance International plant in Flat Rock, Mich., which is owned jointly with Mazda, will also occur. Ford has committed $555 million to the plant so far, and reports indicate that a second shift will be added there to meet production demands.
Rejoicing in Mexico
Speaking before an audience of Ford employees, automotive media and Mexican officials, Fields reiterated the significance of Ford’s $1.3 billion investment in Mexico.
“Ford is making a significant investment in this facility and a significant commitment to the employees here while also transforming our vehicle lineup for customers throughout North America,” he said. “The midsize sedan market is significant, growing and one of the most competitive in the industry.”
Gabriel López, CEO of Ford of Mexico, praised the work Ford and the Mexican government did to make the plant expansion a reality. The sentiments were echoed by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who was gracious for the $3 billion Ford had already invested in Mexico before the Hermosillo announcement.
“Working together with national and state government officials, Ford has been able to make our vision a reality, helping deliver new jobs and even greater levels of competitiveness for the company,” said López.