Ford Motor’s Louisville investment listed among top corporate projects

Kentucky Press News Service

Ford Motor Company’s investment in Kentucky is one of the top 15 corporate investment projects in the country, according to a national economic development journal.

Trade & Industry Development, a leading magazine dedicated to site selection, has included the company’s Louisville project in its 7th Annual CiCi (Corporate Investment & Community Impact) Awards, according to a news release from the office of Gov. Steve Beshear. The project was selected among hundreds submitted from across the country to make the top 15 in the Corporate Investment category, the release said.

“This is yet another great honor for the Commonwealth, Louisville, and Ford Motor Company,” Beshear was quoted as saying. “Ford’s growth in Louisville has garnered national and international recognition and demonstrates the strength and potential which reside in Kentucky’s automotive industry.”

Ford announced in late 2010 an investment of $600 million to transform the company’s Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP) into what Ford called the company’s most-flexible, high-volume plant in the world – resulting in a second shift and 1,800 new jobs at the plant. In the fall of 2011, Ford announced a new contract, which workers ratified, that will reportedly bring a third shift and another 1,300 jobs to LAP, raising the total new-job count to 3,100.

According to Ford, the contract also secured a separate, $600 million investment at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant (KTP) to include a new stamping press. The KTP investment will allow for modernization of tooling for the next generation F-Series Super Duty trucks and the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs, Ford said.

The award from Trade & Industry Development comes on the heels of Ford and the Commonwealth being named 2011 Economic Development Deal of the Year by national magazine Business Facilities. The project, which was selected by a judging panel of industry experts, emerged as the winner in a competitive field of 23 other projects from across the U.S.

“Ford’s $1.2 billion investment in its two facilities in Louisville has resulted in more than 3,000 new jobs and new exciting products coming off their assembly line,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was quoted as saying.

Kentucky is currently home to more than 440 automotive-related industries that employ more than 68,000 people. Additionally, Kentucky ranks third highest in auto industry-related employment as a percent of total state employment among the top motor vehicle producing states in the U.S., according to the news release.