U.S. Automaker Expands Capacity at Assembly Plants for Incoming SUVs

A major U.S. automaker recently announced plans to transform its Chicago manufacturing facility to expand capacity for the production of three new SUVs.

Ford Motor Company is investing $1 billion in Chicago Assembly and Stamping Plants, the company’s oldest continually-operated automobile manufacturing plant, to prepare for the Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility and Lincoln Aviator.

Joe Hinrichs, president, Global Operations

With the Chicago investment, to begin in March and be completed later in the spring, Ford is building an all-new body shop and paint shop at Chicago Assembly and making major modifications to the final assembly area.  At Chicago Stamping, the company is adding all-new stamping lines. Advanced manufacturing technologies at the plants include a collaborative robot with a camera that inspects electrical connections during the manufacturing process. In addition, several 3D printed tools will be installed to help employees build these vehicles with even higher quality for customers.

“We are proud to be America’s top producer of automobiles. Today, we are furthering our commitment to America with this billion dollar manufacturing investment in Chicago and 500 more good-paying jobs,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, Global Operations. “We reinvented the Explorer from the ground up, and this investment will further strengthen Ford’s SUV market leadership.”

Chicago Assembly, located on the city’s south side, is Ford’s longest continually operating vehicle assembly plant. The factory started producing the Model T in 1924 and was converted to war production during World War II.


Photo credit/caption: Ford/Jason Hoskins, Ford employee, learns to build the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer.

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