KANSAS CITY, MO – Ford provided a brief update on its plans to build the Transit commercial van in its Kansas City, Mo. Plant. Ford said it will migrate its commercial vans sold around the world to a common, global platform in 2013, when Kansas City Assembly workers begin producing the full-size Transit for the automaker's North American customers.

The company said it is investing $1.1 billion, which is $700 million more than it had announced previously, in the plant. This investment includes a new body shop, new tooling in the final assembly area, an upgraded paint shop, and a new stamping plant, which will be located on an adjacent property in Liberty, Mo.

Ford said it will add 1,600 jobs at the Kansas City, Mo. plant for production of the Transit. The automaker also reiterated that even after the Transit goes on sale, certain body styles of its E-Series of vans will still be available through the end of the decade.

Also, Ford said part of this investment will be used to support production of the next-generation F-150 at the plant. The automaker said it plans to boost F-150 production at the plant as well, starting in May 2012, which will add 800 additional jobs to the truck assembly line at the plant.

The automaker said that after the additional production starts in May, Ford will be producing the F-150 on five shifts, two in Kansas City and three in Dearborn, to meet customer demand. The company said the F-Series is experiencing a year-to-date total sales increase of 8 percent.

Ford said its Kansas City Assembly Plant is the fourth facility in North America the automaker has re-tooled to produce new vehicles. The company said its commitment to install a new product line requiring this level of investment was enabled, in part, by the recent ratification of the new UAW-Ford Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet