Here at Truck Trend, you don't have to tell us the light truck market is hot right now. Within the past two years, we've seen more activity in terms of new models, powertrains and updates than we've seen in the previous decade. But it's more than just a perception, as evidenced by Ford's $1.1 Billion investment in its Kansas City assembly operations. The major investment is to add production capacity for the strong-selling F-150, and in anticipation of the 2014 Transit full-size van.

The plant's expansion will also bring 2000 jobs with it, the first wave of 900 coming in the third quarter of 2013 to meet increased demand for the F-150, and 1100 jobs coming in the fourth quarter in preparation for the launch of the new full-size Transit van. With the new hires, the number of hourly employees at the Kansas City facility will swell to almost 4500. Among the manufacturing investments are a 437,000 sq. ft. stamping facility and a 78,000 sq. ft. paint shop employing a new "three-wet" environmentally-friendly paint process.

The expansion of operations at Kansas City put Ford three-quarters of the way toward its goal of 12,000 new hourly hires by 2015.

Source: Ford