Ford adds 850 jobs to Rouge Center to build new F-150

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News
  • Ford will add 850 hourly jobs to three facilities at its Rouge Center
  • The new F-150 will hit showrooms later this year
  • The new jobs further exceeds Ford’s UAW promise of adding 12,000 hourly jobs by 2015

Dearborn — Ford Motor Co. said Monday it is adding 850 hourly jobs to three facilities at its Rouge Center to help build the aluminum-body 2015 F-150 pickup, which will hit showrooms later this year.

Workers already have been hired and are being trained.

The new jobs will be divided among the center’s three facilities. Dearborn Truck will receive more than 500 new workers; Dearborn Stamping will get nearly 300; and Dearborn Diversified, which makes components, will receive more than 50 workers. The center now has nearly 5,000 hourly workers.

“As customer anticipation for the all-new F-150 continues to build, today we are bringing on 850 new jobs to help meet the market demand for the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, said in a statement.

The new jobs further exceed Ford’s 2011 promise to the United Auto Workers to add 12,000 hourly jobs by 2015. Ford has added more than 14,000 jobs, including more than 4,000 in southeastern Michigan at locations including Michigan Assembly, Flat Rock Assembly and other plants.

Dearborn Truck recently underwent about a month shutdown as Ford retooled the plant with new equipment to make the truck. The changeover is complete, and the Dearborn automaker began running sheet metal there late last month, Hinrichs said previously.

“We are going to do things here that have never before been done in the auto industry,” said Bruce Hettle, Ford’s vice president of North American manufacturing. “We’re changing history here as a Ford-UAW team. ... We will change the auto industry forever.”

A date for when the 2015 trucks will hit showrooms has not been given, although Hinrichs said the introduction is on schedule.

. “Every launch has issues,” he said, “but actually, this launch is going to plan.”

Some analysts remain skeptical. Morgan Stanley last week lowered its price targets on Ford from $16 to $14, citing potential issues with the F-150 launch.

“As we understand it, virtually everything that makes physical contact with the vehicle in the production process has been replaced, retrained or substantially augmented,” analyst Adam Jonas said in a research note. “We may remind you that some of Ford’s recent (and far less complex) launches have been plagued with initial quality issues and high recall activity.”

Hinrichs responded Monday, saying the launch should help dispel doubt.

“We’re going to execute,” he said. “Product wins, and we have an outstanding product.”

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Texas honors F-150

Ford Motor Co.’s 2015 F-150 on Monday was named Truck of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers Association.

The Dearborn automaker took top honors at the TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo, and earned five other awards, including Truck Line and Commercial Vehicle of Texas for its 2015 Transit van. Chrysler Group LLC received nine awards, including SUV of Texas for the 2015 Grand Cherokee. General Motors Co. received three awards.

Jeep won all five categories it entered. Ram Truck won four awards, including Heavy-Duty Truck for the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty.

GM’s Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD won Full-Size SUV; the 2015 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab won Mid-Size Pickup Truck; and the GMC Yukon Denali won Full-Size Luxury SUV.

Michael Martinez and Michael Wayland