September 19, 2013 / 3:56 PM / 5 years ago

Ford to invest C$700 million in Ontario plant as car demand surges

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) said it would invest C$700 million ($678 million) in its Oakville assembly plant in Canada to boost its North American manufacturing capacity as demand for cars surges to pre-recession levels.

Ford said this investment would increase its annual spending on Canada-made auto parts by about C$200 million to nearly C$4 billion.

The company said it expected to secure 2,800 jobs with the expansion, which should be complete by the fall of 2014.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that the next generation of the Edge and MKX crossover utility vehicles would be assembled at the plant.

The facility currently manufactures models such as Ford Edge, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKT.

U.S. car sales were above expectations in August as consumers, after years of putting off purchases of new cars, took advantage of still-low interest rates and snapped up a wide range of vehicles from pickup trucks to luxury sedans.

Ford’s car sales in Canada were higher than those of Chrysler Group UAWREC.UL and General Motors Co (GM.N) in August.

($1 = 1.03 Canadian dollars)

(Paragraph three of this story has been corrected to say the investment secures, not creates, 2,800 jobs; Also clarifies existing plant will be expanded)

Reporting by Krithika Krishnamurthy in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey

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