Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) is doubling down on its business, investing in its factories, and hoping to solidify the prospects of 2,800 North American jobs. In this case, they're all in Canada.
On Thursday, Ford announced plans to invest CA$700 million in its Oakville Assembly plant in Ontario, Canada. That's about $684 million in U.S. dollars
Ford is making the investment in order to "meet increasing demand for its new, fuel-efficient vehicles in world markets," and, in particular, to meet demand for its Edge SUV, which can get up to an estimated 30 highway miles per gallon. The plant also makes the Ford Flex, Lincoln MKX, and Lincoln MKT vehicles.
In a statement, Ford said Oakville is "one of the most competitive and important facilities in the Ford system." The Edges it produces, Ford says, have helped Ford fulfill U.S. sales of 130,000 of the vehicles so far this year, a faster pace than what the company saw in 2007, before the Great Recession.
Ford hopes to see that trend continue, but notes that upgrading the Oakville plant will permit it to "shift production [to other vehicles at the same plant] based on consumer demand more quickly and efficiently." This in turn will help to secure the jobs of 2,800 workers at the plant, and will have follow-on effects throughout the Canadian economy.
Ford expects the plant upgrades to be completed sometime in fall 2014.