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Ford Adds Jobs in Illinois

Posted on February 10, 2010

Ford Motor Co. said it will add 1,200 jobs in Illinois at its Chicago assembly plant later this year to build the new Explorer sport utility vehicle, a person briefed on the matter said (click here).

The company and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn were scheduled to make the announcement on Tuesday at the factory, but Quinn told reporters in Chicago on Monday that 1,200 new jobs were coming to Illinois.

“Tomorrow, in one day, we’re going to get 1,200 new jobs for Illinois,” Quinn said at a breakfast event.

The person briefed on the announcement said some of the workers will be from Ford’s pool of employees laid off at other factories.

The new Explorer will be built on the same frame as the Taurus sedan, which is built at the Chicago plant.

Ford has long had plans to base the once-popular Explorer on a car rather than truck frame. The company says the new one will have SUV-like towing and hauling capacity, but will be more manoeuvrable and fuel efficient than its predecessor.

Ford has sold more than 6.5 million Explorers since the SUV went on sale in 1990 as a 1991 model. But the segment has been suffering due to high gasoline prices. Ford sold only 52,190 of the truck-based Explorers last year, down 34 per cent from 2008.

Manufacturing expanded in January at the fastest pace since August 2004, spearheading the U.S. recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s.

Factories are stepping up production as stimulus-fueled gains in demand and record cutbacks in inventory boost orders. After job cuts of 7.2 million in the last two years, some companies such as Ford Motor Co. are beginning to hire again, laying the groundwork for sustained gains in spending.

According to BusinessWeek.com, manufacturing continues to grow at a decent pace, even though many manufacturing jobs were lost in the recession.

“Manufacturing is growing, it’s going to continue to expand,” said Hugh Johnson, who manages more than $1.6 billion as chairman of Albany, New York-based Johnson Illington. His forecast of 58 was highest in the Bloomberg survey. “Whether or not this continues to unfold will depend very heavily on final demand.”

Stocks and Treasury yields rose after the report, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gaining 1.1 percent to 1,085.16 at 10:47 a.m. in New York. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose 7 basis points to 3.66 percent, according to BGCantor Market Data.

The factory index exceeded economists’ median forecast of 55.5, according to 67 projections in a Bloomberg survey. Estimates ranged from 53.5 to 58. Manufacturing accounts for about 12 percent of the economy.

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