By on December 1, 2015


Ford announced Tuesday that it would spend $1.3 billion to retool, update and build a new body shop for its Louisville, Kentucky plant, which produces its Super Duty truck and large SUVs.

The announced spending, which will create 2,000 jobs at the plant, is part of Ford’s new contract with the United Auto Workers — and part of the automaker’s last deal with the UAW, according to Automotive News.

The investment will create an all-new body shop for the aluminum-bodied truck scheduled to go on sale late next year. With an all-new shop, production of the outgoing truck can continue while the new shop gets online, which could help the automaker avoid another shortage when the redesigned truck hits dealers.

This year, Ford had smaller F-150 inventories than normal because its Dearborn, Michigan and Kansas City facilities were closed as the automaker retooled for the next generation, aluminum bodied, light-duty pickup. Ford said its inventories didn’t fully recover until late in the second quarter of 2015.

Ford said the $1.3 billion investment will add to its $80 million investment at the truck plant in 2014 and a $129 million investment at nearby Louisville Assembly, which produces the Lincoln MKC and Ford Escape.

“Adding new jobs and more investment at Kentucky Truck Plant not only secures a solid foundation for our UAW members, but also strengthens the communities in which they live, work and play,” Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president said in a statement. “Such success highlights our members’ hard work and dedication to building world-class, quality vehicles like the Super Duty.”

According to WDRB in Louisville, workers at the Kentucky Truck Plant two weeks ago rejected the latest deal with the automaker by 2-to-1.

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12 Comments on “Ford Spends $1.3B on Super Duty Plant in Kentucky So You Don’t Have To Wait Again...”

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Being in a state that heavily salts its roads during winter, I’m all for aluminum bodied PU trucks. I didn’t realize Ford was also going that route with their new HD model. Good for them.

    • 0 avatar

      Even better (IMO): They’re sharing cabs with the F-150 again.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “Even better (IMO): They’re sharing cabs with the F-150 again.”

        Agreed! I didn’t know that.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        It’s good to see the sharing of bodies between the F-150 and the HD’s. The size of the full size pickup has grown to the point where it would be useless to make and use a larger body.

        This also cuts down on the cost per unit for the more expensive aluminium pickups.

        The weight savings on the Ford HDs is not much. So the sharing of bodies is more about cost cutting.

        • 0 avatar

          Definitely. Full-size pickups hit the “ceiling” in width back in the early ’60s at 78-80″, and I think they have maybe hit the limits in other dimensions too. Ford did a good job at holding on to the 1999 Super Duty cab for over 15 years, but GM and Ram have saved a lot of trouble not having to produce 2 seperate bodies for the 1/2-ton and HDs.

    • 0 avatar

      And their large SUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Frames are a bigger issue and lets hope not only Frod but all manufacturers look more closely at corrosion in the newer, lighter frames.

        The newer frames are a higher tensile steel. This equates to more carbon alloyed into the steel, thus decreasing the chassis ability to counter corrosion.

        The Ford HD’s should be much better than the lighter aluminium F-150 chassis. The F-150 chassis is much thinner than the older steel pickups chassis and they are fabricated with a much higher tensile steel.

    • 0 avatar

      Frame is still steel, will still rot. Expect to see a bunch of complaints about rotting frames 6-8 years from now, with the complainers not grasping that with an older truck the body would have been rotting too.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s going to make for some interesting used truck shopping; bring your own creeper & wide-beam flashlight.

      • 0 avatar

        I dunno about frame rot problems. My ’99 F350 Crewcab has gone through 16 winters in West-Central Ohio with the crappy salty slushy roads. I was under it recently replacing the starter (original OEM by Mitsubishi no less!) and nothing was really bad anywhere on the frame. I did need to replace the brake line a few years ago to the rear axle due to corrosion and the bottom of one of the rear doors is starting to rot but the frame, fasteners, springs, axles, running gear is all in pretty good shape. The wax coating on the frame is holding up as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          After 11 MN winters the frame and body on my ’04 GMC HD are in excellent shape. Rockers are usually one of the areas these GM trucks start to rust first but mine has had mud flaps on it from day one (keeping the front wheels from throwing salt and sand into them) which Is why I think they are still good and solid.

  • avatar

    I don’t see frame rust as a big issue in the part of British Columbia where I live. My 2010 F150 has been fine so far. I had an F250 for 15 years and no issues.

    I suspect once again we seen our Australian friend continuing on with his anti-Ford anti-aluminum commentary.

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