Ford Motor Company says it will add 1,000 jobs to its assembly plant in Oakville Ontario, as the site will produce the 2015 Ford Edge crossover utility vehicle, the company said on Wednesday.
The new hires will boost total employment at the facility to more than 4,000 by the end of the year. The expansion also comes after the company added 300 jobs at the site in 2013 because of growing demand.
Last year, Ford said it would invest $700 million to improve the Oakville plant, which is west of Toronto, to produce the next generation of the Ford Edge and MKX vehicles. Ford also operates an engine plant in nearby Windsor, bringing its total Canadian employment to more than 6,000 people.
The company says it plans to spend an additional $200 million a year on Canadian investments. The company's Canadian workers recently voted in favor of a new cost-cutting four-year contract negotiated with Ford that made Canada more competitive with the United States and other countries for auto assembly, in part by cutting starting wages for new hires to about $20 an hour — about 60 per cent of what longstanding employees earn.
The Oakville Assembly produces Ford's Edge and Flex vehicles, as well as the Lincoln MKX and MKT. Ford said the new Edge will be exported to more than 100 countries.
Canadian Industry Minister James Moore welcomed the jobs announcement and said the government's investment helped transform the Oakville plant into one of Ford's most advanced facilities globally.
"It demonstrates once again that Canada is a great place to build cars," Moore said in a statement.