Ford Motor Company has recently reported it is investing $350 million in its Livonia Transmission Plant in order to diversity and expand its manufacturing output. This will add 800 jobs to the Detroit facility. The company says it expects to start adding these new jobs towards the end of this year, though most jobs will be available in 2018 and 2019. Also, most of these jobs are expected to be filled by workers from other plants.
Now, this announcements follows another one from Ford who decided, earlier in the week, to reduce its global, salaried workforce by 1,400 positions, on the heels of pressures to boost stock prices.
According to Ford Motor Company president of the Americas, Joe Hinrich, “We remain committed to American manufacturing and investing in our people and facilities. We believe it is important to continue investing right here in our home market.”
And that is important, of course, as Ford—and other companies—have been getting more and more pressure from President Donald Trump over investing in plants in Mexico.
United Auto Workers President Jimmy Settles is fully behind this decision, calling it new evidence of the “benefits of collective bargaining.” He comments, “The addition of these 800 jobs will add job security for the plant’s hardworking men and women, and support for the surrounding community.”
Part of this security is that the Ford investment is only a piece of a much larger, $1.8 billion investment in this plant, which will occur over four years. This commitment includes plans to add a total of three new transmission types. And Ford has already invested $12 billion in all of its US plants, which has created roughly 28,000 jobs in the United States over the last five years.
In order to encourage those salaried employees to make the transition to the new plant, Ford has also announced it has plans to offer various financial incentives—which could include generous early retirement plans—by the end of September. Investors, on the other hand, have shared great concern over slowing sales in an industry that could very soon be dominated by autonomous vehicles and car sharing programs.
On Friday, shares of Ford Motor Company rose about 1 percent.