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Next for Ford and GM: More Jobs

Since July 2009, GM has announced $8.5 billion worth of investment in U.S. facilities as well as the related creation of 24,700 jobs. "Some of that is years in the making in terms of implementing the investment," said spokesman Bill Grotz. "We're in the process of implementing (and) adding jobs."

This year alone, GM has announced it will make investments that will enable jobs for 1,000 recalled or newly employed workers at a technology innovation center in Roswell, Ga; 4,000 retained workers at a paint shop in Fairfax, Kan.; 400 workers at a power train headquarters in Pontiac, Mich.; and 1,650 workers at four plants in Bay City, Mich; Bedford, Ind.; Flint, Mich.; and Toledo, Ohio.

Ford announced Thursday that starting in the third quarter it will add more than 2,000 jobs at its Kansas City assembly plant. F-150 production will employ about 900 of the new employees, with the rest working on the Transit vans starting in the fourth quarter. The plant currently employs 2,450 hourly workers. In an interview with The Kansas City Star, Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, said the company began seriously considering a third shift for the F-150 late in 2012. F-150 sales are up 19% this year.

The investment and new jobs in Kansas City means that Ford is three-quarters of the way to its goal of creating 12,000 hourly jobs in the U.S. by 2015. The company also is investing $16 billion in its U.S. product development and manufacturing operations -- including $6.2 billion in plant-specific investments that would save 3,240 existing jobs.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally laid out his plan in a 2009 interview with TheStreet. "The way to survive is to reduce your production to the real demand (and) at the same time accelerate the investment in new products so that when you come out on the other side, you are there with the vehicles that people want," Mulally said. "Then you start to grow the business again, profitably, and you start hiring people."

Meanwhile, Chrysler so far this year has hired 1,000 workers at its Warren, Mich., truck plant and later this year intends to hire 1,100 workers at its Toledo assembly complex. Toyota announced recently that in 2015 it will produce 50,000 Lexus ES 350s at its Georgetown, Ky. Plant, generating 750 new jobs. Since November 2011, Toyota has announced more than $1.5 billion in new U.S investments, creating 3,500 new jobs.
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