and shuttered several factories to reduce costs and bring production more in line with shrinking sales. But now, the burst of showroom business has prompted automakers to increase output at remaining plants. In Ford’s case, the company added about 8,000 salaried and hourly jobs last year, and has said it plans to hire about 2,200 white-collar workers in 2013. Ford is also moving some vehicle production from Mexico to a Michigan plant, where it will add 1,200 jobs. The investment in Cleveland is indicative of how Ford and others have trimmed domestic labour costs and improved productivity since the recession. Just a few years ago, the company was forced to consolidate two engine plants into one and close a major component operation.
Hinrichs said that a new local agreement with the United Automobile Workers union in Cleveland paved the way for the expansion. Currently the plant employs about 1,300 workers.