Ford said Thursday it will invest $3.7 billion and add more than 6,200 union manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri as part of the automaker’s plan to sell 2 million EVs a year globally by the end of 2026.
The new investment will be used to hire union workers at factories in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri, provide healthcare to new hourly employees as well improve working conditions at these facilities. Notably, Ford said it made the hiring investment a year ahead of 2023 contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers union.
The news nudged Ford shares up about 1.85% in morning trading.
Much of the investment will go toward factories building Ford’s EVs, including the F-150 Lightning pickup truck and a new EV commercial vehicle slated to begin production in mid-decade. However, Ford said it is also investing in factories where its gas-powered vehicles are assembled and plans to use some of the funds to produce a new Ranger pickup and Mustang coupe.
As part of the hiring plan, Ford will convert nearly 3,000 temporary employees to permanent full-time status. The automaker said it will also invest $1 billion over five years to improve working conditions at its U.S. factories, such as adding better lighting in parking lots, EV charging and providing access to healthier food.
The hefty investment comes a few months after Ford announced a restructuring plan that will split the company into two units. Ford Blue will be focused on existing and future internal gas combustion vehicles like the Mustang, F-150 and Bronco and the Ford Model e unit will oversee the company’s electric vehicle development and production as well as connected car services.
The largest bulk of the investment announced Thursday, about $2 billion worth, will be spread amongst three assembly plants in Michigan. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn will get funds to increase production of the F-150 Lightning electric truck to 150,000 per year. Money will also be invested to produce an all-new Ranger pickup at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne and an all-new Mustang coupe at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant.
Another $1.5 billion will go toward hiring 1,800 union workers at Ford’s Ohio Assembly Plant to build an all-new EV commercial vehicle starting mid-decade, along with an additional 90 jobs and $100 million investment between the Lima Engine and Sharonville Transmission plants, the company said.
The remaining $95 million will be used to fill 1,100 union jobs for a third shift at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri to increase production of the Transit and the all-new E-Transit electric van.