LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Ford has transformed a nearly 60-year-old assembly plant in Kentucky into the new home of the redesigned Escape.
And it's bolstered the workforce to make the small SUV.
The automaker invested $600 million to revamp its Louisville Assembly Plant.
Improvements include new body, paint and trim assembly lines. The plant produced Ford Explorers from the early 1990s until 2010.
On Wednesday, the plant is celebrating the launch of the new Escape, which goes on sale this month.
The company says the plant's hourly workforce will swell to about 4,200 once a third shift is added this fall.
As a spinoff, Ford says its suppliers are adding more than 900 jobs in support of Escape production.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer calls it a "shot in the arm" for the local economy.
By BRUCE SCHREINER, Associated Press
The Associated Press