DEARBORN, Mich., March 19, 2019 – Ford Motor Company will again boost production of its hot-selling Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator this summer as both vehicles continue to gain share over their competitors in the large SUV segment.
Surging demand for Expedition and Navigator is driving an increase in production of 20 percent at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville. Retail sales of the Expedition eight-passenger SUV surged 35 percent and it gained 5.6 percentage points in market segment share last year. Expedition’s average transaction price increased $11,700 and is now $62,700. Navigator sales grew 70 percent in 2018 from 2017, to 17,839 sold, giving Navigator its best sales year since 2007.
“Kentucky Truck Plant is home to two of Ford and Lincoln’s most successful vehicles,” said John Savona, Ford vice president, North American manufacturing. “After seeing a continued increase in customer demand for Expedition and Navigator, we are boosting production for a second time to meet it.”
To produce even more Expeditions and Navigators, Ford has increased the line speed at Kentucky Truck Plant. The manufacturing team gathered a group of salaried and hourly workers together to analyze the cycle times of each operation and found there were jobs that could not be completed in the allotted time. So they added more workstations and split up some tasks to ensure employees can complete jobs with quality craftsmanship and in the time allotted.
The plant team also had to get creative in its use of space, adding pits and platforms so more line operators working in the same area can execute tasks while complying with varying height requirements as the vehicle moves down the assembly line.
More jobs for Kentucky Truck Plant
All of this translates into a need for more people to build these popular vehicles.
So Ford is adding 550 jobs at Kentucky Truck Plant and moving approximately that same number of jobs from Louisville Assembly Plant to increase Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator production by 20 percent. Vehicle production will increase after the summer shutdown in July.