Ford plans two-year expansion

Jan. 10, 2011 at 4:51 PM
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DETROIT, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. automaker Ford said Monday it would add 7,000 jobs by the end of 2012, including about 5,000 this year.

In a statement, Ford President of the Americas Mark Fields said the company would "continue to grow our product line up," which includes a deeper push into hybrid and electronic technology, The Detroit News reported.

Fields said 4,000 factory jobs and 750 office jobs would be added this year and another 2,500 factor jobs would be added in 2012.

The announcement punctuates a resurgence in the U.S. industry that was back on its heels with a sales slump that ran right into a prolonged recession.

Detroit's Big Three automakers, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler said in October they were prepared to add a total of $2 billion in investments to their operations. Both GM and Ford earned profits in 2010.

Ford said its new push would include a focus on fuel efficiency, aiming to have "clearly, the most comprehensive electrification strategy available," company President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally told the Detroit Free Press.

Ford is also banking on a resurgence of the minivan, unveiling its plug-in hybrid C-Max at the North American International Auto Show, which opened Monday in Detroit.

The company already bills its 2010 Fusion hybrid as "the most fuel-efficient midsize car in America," and is the best selling U.S. automaker for hybrids, which includes hybrid options for the Fusion, the Escape and the Lincoln MKZ.

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