Ford Motor Co. is expected to announce a $400 million investment in its Wayne factory complex today, which could lead to the creation of 1,500 jobs over the next five years.
The Dearborn automaker already announced plans to retool the former Michigan Truck Plant, which is being renamed Michigan Assembly and will produce small cars from Europe. Now, Ford is announcing additional investments to retool the nearby Wayne Stamping Plant as well.
"We're all for it," said John Kujat, a member of United Auto Workers Local 900, which represents workers at the Wayne complex. "I believe in Bill Ford and Alan Mulally. As far as I'm concerned, they've earned every penny of their salaries."
Gov. Jennifer Granholm is scheduled to join Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. and other executives at the former Michigan Truck Plant this morning for the announcement. State authorities on Tuesday approved more than $159 million in tax credits for Ford, and the City of Wayne has already authorized more than $15 million in property tax abatements.
The Michigan Economic Growth Authority said Ford will make the investment over the next five years, protecting 3,200 jobs and potentially creating 1,500 more if sales improve.
The first vehicle built at Michigan Truck will be a new Ford Focus based on the current European model. It is expected to go on sale in the United States next year.
Addressing Latino community leaders at the Latin Americans for Social & Economic Development Inc.'s luncheon Tuesday, Bill Ford said he expects the economy to rebound in the second half of the year.
"All the money that's flowing into the economy is going to have to have an effect, probably later this year," he said. "What I'm focused mostly on is getting Ford in a position so that when we come out of this we'll be strong and ready to go."