Ford (NYSE: F ) announced today that 1,400 new employees and $555 million in investment helped make the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan the first U.S. facility to produce its Fusion vehicles. The first Fusion was scheduled to roll off the line there today.
The company invested $555 million into the plant to meet surging demand for its Fusion model midsized sedan. Fusion sales are up 13% this year, and expanding production at the Flat Rock, Mich., plant should increase availability of the auto by more than 30%, the company said.
Through the first seven months of the year, Ford sold 21,000 more Fusions than in the same period the previous year, for a total of 181,000 cars in the first seven months of 2013. According to the company, in certain markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami, Fusions are on the lot for fewer than 20 days, compared to the two-month industry average.
Fusions are also produced at the Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico. Chongqing Assembly Plant 1 in China also builds the car, which is known as the Ford Mondeo in other markets globally. The Flat Rock Assembly plant opened in 1987 and also produces the iconic Ford Mustang.
The new jobs in Michigan put Ford more than 75% toward its goal of adding 12,000 hourly jobs in the U.S. by 2015.