DEARBORN Mich. (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co said on Monday it will add 850 hourly jobs at its Dearborn, Michigan, facilities to support the launch of the redesigned, aluminum-intensive 2015 F-150 pickup truck.
The No. 2 U.S. automaker said the new jobs are divided among three facilities: more than 500 jobs for the truck assembly plant, nearly 300 for the stamping factory and more than 50 at the diversified operations.
The new F-150, which goes into production soon, is America’s best-selling vehicle and historically has contributed the lion’s share of Ford’s global pretax profit. The vehicle will go on sale by the end of the year.
Some analysts are worried problems could arise in the launch, potentially costing Ford market share in the segment. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas in a research note last week cut his price target for Ford’s stock, citing the company’s recent profit warning and the likelihood the changeover to the new F-150 will not go as smoothly as investors anticipate.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, said on Monday that the launch remains on schedule.
“Actually, the launch is going very well so far,” he told reporters. “Every new-model launch that I’ve ever been a part of has issues, but actually this launch is going to plan.”
The additional jobs will bring the number of hourly employees at the three Dearborn locations to almost 5,000. The new hires are already in training, for the most part, Hinrichs said.
As part of its 2011 labor contract with the United Auto Workers union, Ford agreed to create 12,000 hourly jobs. Its total has exceeded 14,000.
Ford shares were down 0.9 percent at $13.67 on Monday morning.
Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Matthew Lewis