[January 31, 2014]DETROIT (Reuters) — Ford Motor Co <F.N>
is spending $80 million to boost production of large pickups and
SUVs this year at its Louisville truck plant, the U.S. automaker
The Kentucky facility, one of two Ford plants in Louisville, last
year built 353,662 vehicles. Most of those were Ford's popular
F-Series Super Duty, a bigger, brawnier sibling to the company's
mainstay F-150 pickup.
The truck plant, which opened in 1969 and has been running close to
its rated annual capacity of 365,000, will hike that by 55,000 to
420,000, Ford said. The plant will add 350 jobs to its current
workforce of nearly 4,000.
Ford did not provide further details about the timeline of the
The F-Series Super Duty accounted for the bulk of production last
year in Louisville, at 272,521, according to data from Automotive
News. The plant also built 78,500 Ford Expedition and Lincoln
The standard F-150 is being redesigned late this year, with most of
its steel body panels being replaced with lighter-weight aluminum.
The Super Duty pickups aren't slated for a major overhaul until late
2015 when they, too, are expected to feature more aluminum.
The Expedition and Navigator SUVs will be restyled and updated this
fall for the 2015 model year. They sell in much smaller numbers than
the Super Duty, which includes the F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550
pickups. Many of those trucks are purchased by commercial users,
including construction workers and small-business owners.
The mildly revised 2015 F-Series Super Duty goes on sale this
spring, with a more powerful 6.7-liter V8 turbo-diesel engine and
greater towing capacity.
Ford does not break out sales of the Super Duty models from the
standard F-Series. The full line continues to be the best-selling
vehicle in the U.S., with sales last year jumping 18 percent to
Expedition sales in 2013 rose 1 percent to 38,350 in 2013, while
Navigator sales increased 3 percent to 8,613.
(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit;
editing by Meredith Mazzilli)