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The jobs behind what you drive

by DrivingEnthusiast

Most driving enthusiasts know a  little bit about some of the designers and engineers behind their cars.  If you are a Ford enthusiast, you know who J Mays is, and who Derrick Kuzak is. You certainly know about Alan Mulally, and unfortunately we all know who little Billy Ford is.

But what do you know of everyone else involved with designing, engineering, building and selling the product? How many people work to create a single product inside Ford? How many people inside Ford work to build it? How many people in suppliers support the production with parts or pre-built assemblies? And how many people outside of the North American market will be involved with selling it?

For the upcoming all-new Explorer, Ford provides some of the answers today.

Note that there are also jobs lost in Louisville, Kentucky as a result of the end of production of the old Explorer/Mountaineer. Some of those jobs are probably switching over to the new vehicle. And because the new Explorer is projected to sell at a much higher rates than the old one, many of the numbers below are an overall net gain.

Stay tuned to this channel on Monday when Ford (finally) releases the full specs and imagery of the new Explorer.

Ford Press Release follows.



  • Ford and suppliers adding 1,800 jobs to support production of new Explorer SUV
  • Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant adding 1,200 new jobs as a result of $400 million investment
  • Suppliers building parts from seats to chassis modules are adding more than 600 additional jobs in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois
  • More than 100 companies in 23 states will produce parts and components for the new Explorer, and those companies will buy parts from hundreds more indirect suppliers
  • New Explorer will be exported to more than 90 countries, assisting with Ford’s overall efforts to increase exports from North America
  • Explorer goes on sale this winter with class-leading fuel economy, industry-first safety features, cutting-edge technology and world-class craftsmanship

DEARBORN, Mich., July 22, 2010 – The reinvented 2011 Ford Explorer – designed and built in the United States – will do more than redefine how Americans think of SUVs. The all-new vehicle will bring more than 600 new supplier jobs in addition to the 1,200 Ford positions being added. The 2011 Explorer also will be exported to more than 90 countries after it goes into production later this year.

“The economic impact of the new Explorer will benefit hundreds of American communities,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “Not only does the new Explorer change the game for SUVs, it will help boost the American economy by fueling jobs and new investments.”

The new Explorer will be produced at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant later this year as a result of a $400 million investment that is adding 1,200 new jobs at the plant. 

Key suppliers to the Explorer are investing in new facilities, adding shifts and hiring for more than 600 jobs in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.  

Each automotive job is estimated to generate an additional 10 indirect jobs, according to the Center for Automotive Research data. That means Explorer could help create up to 12,000 new jobs overall.

“Suppliers across the country are stepping up to the challenge of building the next Explorer,” said Tony Brown, group vice president, Ford Global Purchasing. “There are more than 100 companies in 23 states that will produce parts and components for the 2011 Explorer and hundreds more indirect suppliers beyond that.”

Suppliers adding jobs come from across Ford’s supply base and include members of the company’s minority- and women-owned business groups. They include:

  • Dakkota Integrated Systems (fascia and headliners), adding jobs in Illinois and Michigan
  • Johnson Controls (door trim panels and fascia components), adding jobs in Michigan
  • Key Safety Systems (restraints), adding jobs in Michigan
  • Lear Corporation (seats), adding jobs in Indiana
  • NYX (interior hard-trim), adding jobs in Michigan
  • Piston Automotive (cooling modules), adding jobs in Illinois
  • Tower Automotive (body stampings), adding jobs in Illinois
  • ZF Lemforder (chassis modules), adding jobs in Illinois

American workers also will benefit from Explorer’s popularity overseas. The iconic SUV is Ford’s most exported North American product and has helped secure U.S. jobs in a time of economic turmoil. 

The new Explorer is expected to maintain that leading export role as the company raises expectations for U.S. sales based on the vehicle’s outstanding combination of fuel efficiency, capability, safety and technology. The new Explorer will be exported to up to 90 countries, assisting with Ford’s overall efforts to increase exports from North America. 

Ford is revealing the all-new Explorer on Monday in a variety of ways to introduce as many audiences as possible to the reinvented SUV, including extensive use of social media. 

The new Explorer goes on sale this winter. It will feature class-leading fuel economy – with an improvement of more than 30 percent versus the current Explorer – plus industry-first safety features, such as inflatable rear seat belts and Curve Control, as well as cutting-edge technology innovations like MyFord Touch™ and world-class craftsmanship.

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