Some 1,100 workers are joining Ford Motor Co. in Claycomo to fill a third shift recently added to increase capacity for the Transit and E-Transit vans.
The Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo already operates three shifts for the popular F-150 pickup. The expansion on the Transit side was first announced last summer. At that time, Ford also announced plans to invest $95 million in plant upgrades as part of the Transit expansion.
The Transit’s popularity is behind these investments. Ford said Transit sales increased by 86 percent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year. The all-electric E-Transit was up by 62.7 percent for the same time span.
The vehicle’s popularity is due in part to its flexibility, regardless of whether the van is electric or gas powered. The full-size van was designed with the potential for a high level of customization, which has made it popular with everyone from fleet owners to family campers.
Ford’s other Kansas City product, the F-150, is not languishing. The company noted a 21.1% increase in sales of the F-series compared to a year ago. The Ford F-150 made in Kansas City is the bulk of the F-series sales, which also includes the F-250, F-350 and F-450.
All of this bodes well for Clay County and Greater Kansas City. In February, Ford listed over 7,250 employees at the local plant, and the company is the metro area’s largest manufacturer, with more being added for the Transit third shift.