Ford executives confirm LAP will build compact SUV

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Ford executives have confirmed that the automaker will build the next generation of the Ford Escape compact SUV at its Louisville Assembly Plant on Fern Valley Road.

To make that possible, the plant, which produced the Ford Explorer for years, is undergoing a $600 million transformation to allow it to build cars and crossovers off of Ford's new compact platform.

Ford says it currently employs 1,100 hourly union employees, and once full production begins it could add as many as 1,800 additional workers on two full-time shifts. Ford says some employees will transfer from other plants, laid off workers will be brought back, and new workers are going to be hired.

Retooling the plant is set to begin in mid-December. THE LAP will be closed during the renovations. It's expected to re-open in late 2011.

The last Louisville-made Explorer will roll off the assembly line on Thursday, Dec. 16.

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