Ford Hiring More Than 1,000 on F-Series Demand

Ford Motor Company | Flickr

Ford, facing greater demand for its F-Series trucks, is adding a third shift and hiring more than a thousand new workers at its final assembly plant in Claycomo, Missouri where the popular F-150 pick-up is built, the auto maker said.

The move is part of Ford adding a total of 2,000 jobs and expanding capacity at the plant outside of Kansas City, Missouri.

"We are going to step up operations at Kansas City to ensure we have enough trucks to meet customer demand," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's Americas President.

After Ford ramps up F-Series production in the third quarter it will prepare the Missouri plant for the launch of its new Ford Transit full-size van in 2014.

(Read More: Bulls Want to Drive Ford Higher)

Pick-up Demand Picks Up

While the pace of auto sales in the U.S. is slowing after growing at a double-digit clip in the last three years, demand for pick-up trucks is accelerating.

Small business owners and contractors have started replacing their work trucks in part because the economy is improving, but also because the latest pick-ups are more fuel efficient and more cost effective.

(Read More: Pick-Up Truck Sales are Surging)

F-Series sales are up 19.1 percent this year, while total auto sales in the U.S. have increased 6.9 percent.

"The truck segment is growing three times faster than the overall industry," said Hinrichs. "The housing market is strengthening; we are seeing growth in the U.S. economy."

F-Series Sales Rebound


2007 – 228,343

2008 – 192,951

2009 – 110,336

2010 – 143,985

2011 – 172,062

2012 – 191,280

2013 – 227,873

Source: Autodata

Running at Capacity

Once Ford adds a third shift in Kansas City, it will have two final assembly plants running at close to max capacity as they build F-Series trucks. Ford is already running three shifts cranking out F-Series trucks at its plant in Dearborn, Michigan.

Analysts estimate Ford is now running its final assembly plants in North America at 90 percent of their capacity. In many cases assembly lines are running more than 20 hours a day.

(Read More: Softness in Indian Market a Concern: Ford Motor)

It's a big change from the state of Ford's North American operations when Alan Mulally became CEO in late 2006. At the time, Ford was losing billions with too many plants building too few vehicles.

Between 2007 and 2010, Ford streamlined operations by laying off thousands and shutting down inefficient plants. Since 2010, Ford has hired 6,500 workers in North America and has re-tooled many of its remaining plants. Those plants are increasingly running three shifts every day.

(Read More: Ford Expects 40% of Sales From China By End of Decade)

Last week Ford, posted its most profitable quarter ever for its North American operations, earning $2.4 billion.

—By CNBC's Phil LeBeau. Follow him on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews

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