Ford executive says new products will be made in Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ford executive says new products will be made in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- There will come a time when Ford will produce several vehicles at its Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP) on Fern Valley Road.

That is the word on Tuesday from a high-ranking Ford executive, although exactly when is still not clear.

Ford's Vice President for North American Manufacturing, Jim Tetreault, was in Louisville on Tuesday to speak before a gathering of business leaders sponsored by GLI, the regional chamber of commerce.

He told his audience that these are good days for the auto giant.

He says overall sales of Ford products were up 12 percent in June from the previous year.

Ford's two Louisville plants, the Kentucky Truck Plant on Chamberlain Lane and LAP are operating at maximum capacity.

"We can't produce much more than we are doing," said Tetreault. "We are trying to squeeze out more; we are working a little bit of overtime when we can and trying to raise the line rate a little, so we are still working on building more vehicles."

To manufacture the redesigned Escape, last year Ford invested $600 million to rebuild LAP. Ford calls it one of the most modern plants in the world.

It has what is called a flexible assembly line that allows other vehicles to be easily manufactured at the plant without any major retooling.

Tetreault told his audience this morning that up to six different vehicles could be produced at LAP.

"We are only producing one now," he says, "but the important part is that we put in for a reason; we will use it, there will come a time when we start producing several vehicles there."

That could mean even more jobs at Ford in Louisville.

But Tetreault declined to say when any announcement might come.

"I can't talk about product," he told WDRB News. "We don't disclose future plans."

This year, Ford is celebrating 100 years in Louisville. When it began operations in the city, it had just 12 workers.

Today, Ford employs 8,100 people in Louisville.

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