If there is a power in the automotive industry that has weathered the storm of the recession, the mantle belongs to the Ford Motor Company. Ford was the only major U.S. Automaker to avoid bankruptcy in 2009, and the company also declined to accept auto bailout money. Today, according to Automotive News, Ford plans to invest $850 million and add 1,200 back by 2013 to Michigan, the traditional heart of America’s automotive industry. In addition, $400 million in state incentives (tax breaks) will back the move toward future prosperity.
Ford brings jobs and pride to Michigan
The 1,200 jobs that Ford will bring to Michigan include 900 hourly factory positions and 300 salaried engineering and manufacturing jobs. Locations like Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission plant, Sterling Axle, Livonia Transmission and the Dearborn Truck Plant will receive the greatest influx of new blood, reports Automotive News. The cash investment will be dedicated primarily to expanding the production of six-speed transmissions.
The $400 million in tax breaks over 15 years is a key element of the package for Ford, said the company’s president of the Americas, Mark Fields.
“Without bringing a package of job-retention tax incentives to the table, this kind of investment would have been much more difficult,” he said. “Promoting investments in technologies, facilities and our workforce ultimately will help revitalize manufacturing in Michigan and help Ford compete with the best in the business worldwide.”
More staff indicates a more positive outlook
In order to meet the continued demand for popular models such as the Fiesta subcompact and Super Duty pickups, Ford’s workforce expansion is necessary. For Michigan, it is more than welcome during tough economic times. Considering that U.S. car and light truck sales numbers were down to 10.4 million in 2009 — the lowest level since 1982 — Ford’s confidence in a brighter future is inspiring to all the communities who depend upon the automotive industry for their well-being. Ford told Automotive News that sales of 11.5 million to 12 million are anticipated for 2010, which is a step in the right direction, even if it is below the 16.8 million annual rate of 2000 through 2007.