Ford Grows Payroll to Keep Pace With Truck, Van Output

Ford says it employs about 57,000 hourly manufacturing workers in the U.S., more than any other automaker. The company says it and its partners are committed to adding more than 18,000 new U.S. manufacturing jobs over the next three years.

Joseph Szczesny

April 12, 2023

3 Min Read
Rouge Electric Vehicle Center-Darrlye Steele (Ford)
Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will have 1,800 hourly workers after expansion is complete, Ford says.Ford

With the race for sales of battery-electric vehicles intensifying, Ford plans to add 300 employees this summer as it steps up production at the Electric Vehicle Center in the company’s sprawling Rouge manufacturing complex in Dearborn, MI.

Additionally, the automaker this month is adding a third crew with 1,100 employees at its assembly plant in Kansas City, MO, to expand Transit and E-Transit van production.

Ford plans to ramp up production of the F-150 Lightning BEV to an annual run rate of 150,000 vehicles by moving 800 employees to the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center from the Dearborn Truck Plant, Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker says in an e-mail.

With the addition of the new and transferred employees, Ford will have 1,800 workers building the Lightning on three shifts when the expansion of the Electric Vehicle Center is complete at the end of July, following a 6-week shutdown, says Felker.

At the same time, Ford plans to build gas-powered F-150s with 2,600 employees on two shifts at the Dearborn Truck Plant. Another 2,800 employees on three shifts at the Kansas City Assembly Plant are building conventional pickup trucks with internal-combustion engines (pictured, below).

Ford pickups KC Assdembly Plant (Ford) screenshot.png

Ford pickups KC Assdembly Plant (Ford) screenshot

Ford also is increasing production at manufacturing plants across North America to meet customer demand for vehicles including Mustang Mach-E, Bronco Sport and Maverick, the company says.

The automaker says U.S. sales increased 10.1% in the first quarter.

Ford says it employs about 57,000 hourly manufacturing workers in the U.S., more than any other automaker. The company says it and its partners are committed to adding more than 18,000 new U.S. manufacturing jobs over the next three years across Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri.

“Ford is off to a fast start to the year.  Ford’s sales growth and investments are a direct result of strong customer demand across our truck, SUV and electric vehicle segments,” says Andrew Frick, vice president, sales distribution. “And this year’s highly anticipated new product launches with Super Duty, Escape, Mustang and Ranger will only add to this momentum.”

Ford, however, lost ground to General Motors in BEVs as GM delivered more battery-electric vehicles during the first quarter, according to quarterly sales reports.

Ford says its EV sales increased 41% in the first quarter to 10,866 units. That total included deliveries of the Lightning and E-Transit, the latter increasing 62.7%. Mustang Mach-E sales dropped in the face of price cuts by No.1 BEV seller Tesla.

Chevrolet-Bolt-EV-Press-Photos.jpg

Chevrolet-Bolt-EV-Press-Photos.jpg

GM reports sales of more than 20,000 EVs in the first quarter. The total included 19,700 Bolt EVs (pictured, above) and Bolt EUVs, which are among the least expensive battery-electric vehicles sold in the U.S. GM also says it sold 978 units of the Cadillac Lyriq BEV, and says it expects to deliver 50,000 EVs by the middle of the year.

Tesla sold 150,500 units in the first quarter, according to Wards Intelligence estimates. The company reports its total deliveries increased 36% year-over-year and by 5% from the fourth quarter of 2022 after it cut prices across the board.

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