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Claycomo Assembly Plant Now Biggest In Ford System

Sam Zeff

Thursday morning Ford announced it was adding 1,200 jobs at its Claycomo, Mo., plant because of surging demand for the company’s new Transit van.

Ford says Transit van sales have grown every month since it was introduced.

With hundreds of United Auto Workers union members looking on, John Hinrichs, Ford president in the Americas, said by the end of the year there will be 6,000 UAW jobs in Claycomo.

That makes it the assembly giant in the company.

“Kansas City assembly plant will have the most manufacturing capacity under one roof of any plant in the Ford system worldwide,” Hinrichs said.

Just a few years ago the future of the Claycomo plant looked grim. But, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon told the crowd, lots of difficult deals got done between the General Assembly, local leaders and the UAW.

Missouri, he said, is now a leader in modern manufacturing.

"This is the transformation of the auto industry. This the transformation of American manufacturing right here. We are at ground zero of the future of manufacturing in the United States of America here here in this spot."

Ford says the Claycomo plant jobs start at $15 an hour and top out just above $19 an hour.

In 2011 Ford invested $1.1 billion dollars to re-tool the Claycomo plant to build the Transit van and to built more F-150 pick ups.

This comes on top of some other good auto manufacturing news in Kansas City.

Last year General Motors said it was investing $600 million to revamp its Fairfax paint shop in Kansas City, Kan.

That new plant is set to go on line next August.

Last week General Motors also announced it was adding a third shift at its plant in Wentzville, Mo., near St. Louis. The company says that will create 750 new jobs at the plant, bringing the total workforce to 3,350.

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