Ford (NYSE: F ) has done an excellent job of matching supply with demand and it's making sure to limit production capacity when needed. As folks at the Blue Oval turn their focus to 2014, when the company will launch the most vehicles globally in a single year than it has in any year over the last century, it plans to add more than 5,000 new U.S. jobs to help support its growth -- those jobs are in addition to the 14,000 already added over the last two years.
As we enter 2014, Ford plans to extend its momentum in North America, which currently drives the vast majority of Ford's profits, with 16 new vehicle launches -- those numbers include Lincoln vehicles as well. Those figures also include two very important vehicles for Ford as redesigns of its Mustang and F-150 will hit showrooms with a huge amount of hype.
Ford will invest $1.1 billion to retool and expand its Kansas City assembly plant, which will also add more than 2,000 jobs -- 1,000 of those jobs will be to help support the expected strong demand for its next generation F-150.
"This is the fastest and most aggressive manufacturing expansion the company has undergone in 50 years," said John Fleming, executive vice president, Ford global manufacturing, in a press release. "The last time Ford was growing like this, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the U.S. president."
Arguably Ford's most important area for growth is in the world's largest automotive market, China, where it trails crosstown rival General Motors. Ford's goal has been to launch 15 new vehicles in China by 2015 and to double its market share from 3% to 6%. That's a nice goal as Ford was late to the game in China, where GM currently holds a roughly 14% market share.
"Our strategy in Asia Pacific is to serve our customers with even more One Ford products, and to increase our capacity to provide these great products with manufacturing hubs in China, India and ASEAN," said Dave Schoch, group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific, in a press release. "With more products, plants and people, in 2014 we will take another significant step in the implementation of our Asia Pacific growth plan."
To support its aggressive growth, Ford will open two manufacturing facilities in the Asia-Pacific region and one in South America.