Ford announces $1 billion investment, 500 new jobs at Chicago factories

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Ford Motor Company announced Thursday it will invest $1 billion at two Chicago factories to handle production of three new SUVs.

The company said in a news release that work on the assembly and stamping plants will begin in March and is expected to be completed by spring.

The expansion will result in 500 new full-time jobs, bringing total employment at the factories on the city’s southeast side to 5,800.{mosads}

The investment will expand production capacity for the new Ford Explorer ST and Explorer Hybrid, as well as the Lincoln Aviator, the company said.

The $1 billion will go toward a new body shop, a new paint shop, the installation of 3D printed tools at the assembly plant and new stamping lines at the other plant. The money also covers $40 million in workplace improvements, such as new lighting and cafeteria updates.

CNBC reported that Ford’s expansion in Chicago comes amid a broader company restructuring that will decrease its total workforce and cut jobs in Europe.

The Ford news comes a few months after rival General Motors announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs and close manufacturing sites in Lordstown, Ohio; Detroit-Hamtramck, Mich.; and Oshawa, Ontario, in Canada, and auto parts factories in Warren, Mich., and White Marsh, Md.

The move drew backlash from lawmakers in both major parties, with President Trump threatening to end the automaker’s federal tax credit for electric vehicles in retaliation.

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