(F) Ford Motor to Boost Workforce

Ford Motor Co. (F) is increasing its workforce at the Flat Rock Assembly plant by adding roughly 1200 workers, according to sources. The new employees will be engaged in the production of the 2013 Fusion sedan at the Detroit-area plant.

Ford expects to attract more buyers with the upcoming 2013 Fusion midsize sedan and the newly launched Escape crossover. In addition, growth in the midsize car segment will further benefit the company.

Fusion, featuring a sharp, chisel design ensures fuel efficiency and is one of the best selling vehicles along with Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TM) Toyota Camry, Honda Motor Co.’s (HMC) Accord and Nissan Motor Co.’s (NSANY) Nissan Altima.

Fusion was initially produced only in Mexico. However, the company decided to shift some production to the U.S. after the labor contracts (passed in 2007 and 2011) reduced its costs in the country.
Ford plans to enlarge its workforce at Flat Rock Assembly plant from the next year. The company will be employing some new workers. In addition, the workers who were laid off in other plants will also form a part of the workforce. Ford also plans to invest $555 million for new equipment at the plant, which will be used for producing Fusion.

Currently, the Flat Rock plant, which is jointly owned by Ford and Mazda Motor Corp., produces Ford Mustang, providing job to roughly 1,700 workers. However, Mazda has shifted the production of its Mazda 6 midsize car to Japan.

Ford and other automakers are hiring people at a rapid pace to meet the rising demand in U.S. It is anticipated that sales in U.S. will grow by 12% to 14.3 million in 2012.

Michigan-based Ford is one of the largest automobile producers worldwide. The company is divided into two segments: Automotive and Financial services. Although the U.S. is Ford’s primary selling ground, Europe, South America, and the Asia-Pacific constitute its other major markets.

Currently, Ford retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1 to 3 months) Hold rating.

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