Ford to Hire 1,200 in Chicago

Torrence Avenue Assembly to work on redesigned Explorer

NBC 5 News

Roughly 1,200 jobs will be added to Ford's Chicago Assembly on Torrence Avenue, Gov. Pat Quinn and Ford Motor Company is expected to announce Tuesday.

The new jobs will be focused on a redesigned Explorer, which is set to debut later this year and will boast 20 to 25 percent better fuel economy than that model it replaces.

The explorer is currently assembled at a plant in Louisville, Kentucky, but that plant will soon shift its focus to Ford's smaller vehicles.  Ford will spend roughly $400 million to get the Chicago plant ready for the SUV production, a source told the Wall Street Journal.

"That's great news," said new car test driver Rico Stevens.

The plant first opened in 1924 as an alternative production side for Ford's Model T.  The company has closed 14 assembly and parts plants in North America and the Torrence Avenue plant has been down to one shift.

Full Coverage:  Chicago Auto Show 2010

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