LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Ford will invest $700 million mainly at its Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, creating about 500 new jobs over the next four years.
The company made the announcement Tuesday after a state board approved incentives for Ford's investment in the state.
Most of the money will go to retool the truck plant, which makes Super Duty pickup trucks and chassis cabs, plus the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator large SUVs. The company has pledged to add around 500 jobs at the plant by 2026. It now employs about 8,700 hourly and salaried workers.
The investment will support vehicle production, mainly new versions of the Super Duty pickup. Ford was to unveil a revamped Super Duty for the 2023 model year at Churchill Downs on Tuesday night. It goes on sale in the spring of next year.
Ford says it has more than 12,000 people working at two vehicle assembly plants in Kentucky. The company also has about 3,400 workers at the Louisville Assembly Plant, which makes the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair small SUVs. It's also building two electric vehicle battery factories in the state, which will employ another 5,000.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear praised the expansion during a visit to the truck plant Tuesday morning. Beshear said Ford's long history in Kentucky has led to a “special relationship” with the state.
“Together we're going to be building these automobiles and trucks of the future for hundreds of years to come,” Beshear said.
Beshear, the only Democrat who holds a statewide office in Kentucky, is eager to tout his administration's economic successes ahead of next year's governor's race.
Along with the recent Ford announcement, the company last year announced it would spend $5.8 billion to build the two new electric battery plants in Hardin County, just south of Louisville. Another electric vehicle battery plant from Japanese firm Envision AESC is planned for southern Kentucky. Beshear unveiled that $2 billion investment in April.
Ford officials said the investment in the truck plant will go toward retooling machinery inside the existing facility space at the Louisville plant.
This story has been corrected to show that the Kentucky Truck Plant employs about 8,700 hourly and salaried workers, not 4,400 hourly workers. Krisher reported from Detroit.