OAKVILLE, Ont. — Ford Motor Co. announced the addition of 400 new jobs to its assembly plant in Oakville, Ont., Thursday as it officially launched production of the new Edge crossover SUV — a vehicle which will be built for Canada, the U.S. and a number of other countries.
The new jobs were on top of 1,000 positions the automotive company had announced in October as the plant geared up to build the redesigned Edge with a $700 million investment in the plant, west of Toronto.
“It is my privilege to celebrate the start of production of the all new 2015 Ford Edge, redesigned from wheels to roof and everything in between,” Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford’s Americas division, said at the Oakville plant.
“This is truly a global vehicle that we are planning to export to more than 100 countries around the world from right here in Oakville.”
The redesigned Edge is expected to go on sale this spring in Canada and the United States, Hinrichs said.
Ford will also export the Edge to Western Europe for the first time, but Hinrichs noted that the vehicle had a North American design.
“Until now, most of our global vehicles had European roots. But our all new Edge is born and raised right here in North America,” he said.
Ford said global demand for utility vehicles is up 88 per cent since 2008 and they now account for 19 per cent of the global automotive market.
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, member of Parliament for a nearby constituency, said Ford’s investment at the Oakville plant would reinforce Canada’s reputation as “the maker of some of the best and most innovative cars anywhere in the world.”
“That is great news for Oakville, great news for Ontario and excellent news for our country,” Raitt said.
First opened in 1953, the Oakville assembly plant also produces the Ford Flex and the Lincoln MKT. It will also begin production of the 2016 Lincoln MKX this year.
The facility has approximately 4,500 employees.
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