DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. plans to invest $850 million and add 1,200 jobs in Michigan by 2013 to boost development of fuel-saving vehicles. The moves are backed by $400 million in state incentives, Ford said.
Ford will add 900 hourly positions in its factories and 300 salaried jobs at its engineering and manufacturing operations. The jobs will be added at plants including Ford's Van Dyke Transmission, Sterling Axle, Livonia Transmission and the Dearborn Truck Plant, the automaker said in a statement. Most of the investment will help expand production of six-speed transmissions.
The state of Michigan is supporting Ford with as much as $400 million worth of tax breaks over 15 years, Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, told reporters.
“Without bringing a package of job-retention tax incentives to the table, this kind of investment would have been much more difficult,” Fields said.
The state board is also set to discuss similar incentives for Chrysler Group. Proposed amendments are also on the agenda for affiliates of General Motors Co. and for Hyundai Motor Co.'s technical center. No amounts were given.
Ford has begun increasing its U.S. workforce as it gains market share with new models such as the Fiesta subcompact and Super Duty pickups. The company had agreed to add 1,975 hourly jobs by 2012 to do work traditionally done by suppliers. That's 416 more positions than Ford promised in its 2007 contract with the UAW.
U.S. car and light truck sales fell to 10.4 million last year, the fewest since 1982. Ford expects industrywide sales of 11.5 million to 12 million this year. Sales averaged 16.8 million a year from 2000 to 2007. Fields said sales have been running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12 million vehicles so far this month, which would be the highest of 2010.
Ford, the only major U.S. automaker to avoid bankruptcy last year, may report record third-quarter net income of $1.37 billion tomorrow, based on the average projection of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Michigan's economic-development board is scheduled to discuss retention credits for Ford, according to the agenda for the meeting, which didn't list an amount.
Said Fields: “Promoting investments in technologies, facilities and our workforce ultimately will help revitalize manufacturing in Michigan and help Ford compete with the best in the business worldwide.”