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Ford (F) Invests $700M in Kentucky & Unveils F-Series Pickup

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To expedite its progress in Kentucky, Ford Motor (F - Free Report) has announced that it will invest heavily in the state for new vehicle production and equipment upgrades, and to generate employment. The investment plan of $700 million will support the manufacture of the all-new 2023 F-Series Super Duty pickup at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville.

Ford currently employs more than 12,000 people in Kentucky, supports nearly 120,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state and contributes $11.8 billion to the state GDP.  The move is expected to create an additional 500 hourly manufacturing jobs in the state.

Kentucky has held importance for Ford for more than a century. The workforce there is involved in manufacturing popular vehicles, including the F-Series Super Duty, for both retail and Ford Pro commercial customers.

Last year, in a landmark announcement, Ford stated its mammoth joint venture with the South Korea-based battery maker, SK On, to set up two sprawling avant-garde auto production complexes in Tennessee and Kentucky with a capital outlay of $11.4 billion. The two plants together aim to create 11,000 new jobs. The cutting-edge auto production complex has been envisioned on a massive scale and is the largest-ever manufacturing unit in the company’s glorious run of 119 years. It aims at propelling the company’s EV journey. Of the total investment, $5.8 billion has been earmarked for Kentucky, which will create 5,000 jobs.

Ford introduced the all-new 2023 F-Series Super Duty lineup of pickup trucks and chassis cabs this week. The new model is entirely redesigned with intelligent technology and a suite of cloud-based services.

The Super Duty model boasts the broadest range of engines in the class that provides upgrades to horsepower and torque capabilities. The new Ford Pro Upfit Integration System solution allows drivers to smoothly integrate and operate their hardware into the truck’s digital displays. The Super Duty also ensures improved towing capabilities with new driver assist technologies. It is the first pickup in the United States equipped with embedded 5G capability and provides a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 devices to keep workers and families connected on the go.

Ford Super Duty holds an economic value The F-Series Super Duty is a prime revenue driver and has significantly contributed to the company’s sales generation. Ford’s F-Series pickup is America’s best-selling truck, and the franchise alone generated nearly $40 billion in revenues last year.

The heavy investment in Kentucky and the joint venture plant with SK On will go a long way in bolstering its long-standing reputation with the auto giant. Also, the fact that the Kentucky Truck Plant got the new F-Series Pickup again brings the state to the forefront.

Ford, which belongs to the Zacks Auto-Tires-Trucks sector, is competing with top-notch peers like Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) , Volkswagen (VWAGY - Free Report) and General Motors (GM - Free Report) in the EV race.

Banking on the growing adoption of EVs and the soaring popularity of its vehicles, especially the Models 3 and Y, Tesla has established itself as the leader in the e-mobility space. Production ramp-up at Gigafactory 4 (in Berlin) and 5 (in Austin) and introduction of new models, including Semi and Cybertruck from next year, are set to support delivery growth.

Volkswagen is driving efforts toward a rapid transition to all-electric vehicles. Its Accelerate strategy, launched in August, projects that by 2030 the auto magnate will generate 70% of its sales in Europe from all-electric vehicles. The company also projects 100% of its new vehicles in major markets to be carbon-free by 2040.

General Motors’ big push toward EVs is commendable. The automaker plans to roll out 30 fresh EV models by 2025-end. To rev up its electrification drive, it has laid out an ambitious two-year milestone to scale up capacity between 2023 and 2025. It intends to reach a production volume of 1 million EVs in North America and China each by 2025.

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