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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

New Explorer to fuel 1,800 jobs

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New Explorer to fuel 1,800 jobs

More than 100 firms in 23 states will make parts; Michigan will gain

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Ford Motor Co.'s new 2011 Ford Explorer will create at least 1,800 jobs, including 600 auto supplier jobs in three states.

The figures include 1,200 new jobs at the company's Chicago assembly plant when a second shift is added in November.

President Barack Obama wants to grow employment by doubling exports in five years. Ford will export the Explorer to more than 90 countries.

"The economic impact of the new Explorer will benefit hundreds of American communities," said Mark Fields, Ford president of the Americas. "Not only does the new Explorer change the game for SUVs, it will help boost the American economy by fueling jobs and new investments."

Ford purchasing chief Tony Brown said more than 100 companies in 23 states will make Explorer parts, and there are hundreds more indirect suppliers.

Michigan is home to 2,500 auto suppliers -- the most of any state -- and has the most auto jobs of any state in the nation. Production of the new Explorer will enable some to hire here and in other states. Among them:

• Dakkota Integrated Systems will add more than 70 jobs in Illinois and Michigan, including the Lansing area.

• Johnson Controls Inc., which will produce door trim panels for the Explorer, will add 50 jobs in Holland.

• Key Safety Systems will add an unspecified number of jobs in Michigan.

• Lear Corp. will add 285 jobs at its Hammond, Ind., plant.

• More than 30 new jobs in Livonia will be added by Piston Automotive to build cooling modules, along with 18 jobs in a second shift in Redford Township.

• More than 100 jobs will be added in Chicago in total by Tower Automotive, ZF Lemforder and Piston Automotive.

The auto industry lost 400,000 jobs in 2008, but employment is slowly beginning to return. The auto sector has added 40,000 jobs over the last year.

Chrysler Group LLC Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne told reporters last week that demand for the new Jeep Grand Cherokee could prompt the addition of a third shift at the Jefferson North plant in Detroit. A second shift was added July 19.

The Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor estimates each automotive job creates 10 indirect jobs. "Autos are an engine that drives employment across the nation," said Chairman David Cole.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100726/AUTO01/7260328/1148/auto01/New-Explorer-to-fuel-1-800-jobs#ixzz0unc2YUoe

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