LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Monday, Ford celebrated the launch of the 2015 Lincoln MKC.

The MKC, a luxury mini-SUV, represents Lincoln's first entry into the SUV market. It is being manufactured at the Louisville Assembly Plant on Fern Valley Road, but the design, as well as the other components, are different.

"There are 50 different electronic devices on the MKC that are not offered on the basic Escape, so it's a completely different vehicle," says LAP manager Daryl Sykes.

It won't cost Ford much more to build the MKC in Louisville than it does the Escape, so a much higher sticker price for the MKC means a higher profit for Ford.

Ford has invested more than $1 billion into its two Louisville plants since 2010. It employs 8,700 workers locally.

"With the introduction of the all new MKC Ford has invested another $129 million and added 300 new jobs to the plant, said John Savona, director of Ford manufacturing and a former plant manager at LAP.

"It's been pretty tough, but we continue on our seven-day-a-week operating pattern," said Sykes, "Basically it's just been a matter of up scaling and training our base operators on the Lincoln difference."

What does the production of the new MKC mean to the workers?

"Job security," said Todd Long, an employee at the Louisville Assembly Plant for 25 years. "Just a sense of pride for a good-quality unit."

The Lincoln MKC now shares the same production platform with the Escape at LAP. The Escape has been plagued by at least eight recalls during the past couple of years.

But Ford says it's addressing those issues and the Lincoln SUV will undergo additional quality control measures.

"At Ford we've been very quality conscious," says Savona, "we are safety conscious, when we find something here we quickly go after any vehicles that may have left the plant."

The sticker price for the new Lincoln SUV begins at $32,000, compared with the Escape at $22,600.

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