(Dearborn) Ford will ramp up production of six models this year, half of them electric, as the company and the auto industry begin to rebound from sluggish U.S. sales in 2022.
The automaker said Friday it plans to build more Mustang Mach-Es, the Bronco Sport SUV and Maverick pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck and the full-size Transit and E-Transit gas and electric vans.
To help ramp up production, the company announced last year it would add a third shift and 1,100 jobs at its full-size van plant in Claycomo, near Kansas City, Mo., and 3,200 other related jobs. to the construction of the F-150 Lightning which is manufactured in Dearborn, Michigan.
Ford will also hire an unknown number of new workers this year at plants in Cuautitlan and Hermosillo, Mexico, where the Mach-E, Maverick and Bronco Sport are made, according to spokesman Said Deep. The speed of the production lines will shortly increase to increase production, with more workers coming later.
For more than two years, U.S. auto sales have been squeezed largely due to a shortage of computer chips during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the chip shortage is easing and automakers like Ford are starting to ramp up production.
Overall U.S. auto sales fell nearly 8% last year to just under 14 million, with Ford’s falling just over 2%, according to Autodata. However, in February, overall industry sales were up 9.5% from the same month a year ago, according to LMC Automotive, which sees sales jump to 15 million this year. Ford sales rose nearly 22% in February.