From 17 employees to more than 170,000 Ford continues to grow - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

From 17 employees to more than 170,000 Ford continues to grow

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Most people might think of Detroit when they think of Ford but Louisville has more than a 100 year history of sending cars and trucks onto America's roads.

It started with 17 guys building Model Ts back in 1913 in a small shop on South 3rd Street. On a good day they could turn out a dozen cars. Of course you could choose your color - black

By the mid 20s more than 100 cars were assembled daily. Then during World War II car production ground to a halt. Louisville workers helped our troops by building  U.S. Army trucks. Fast forward to Ford's futuristic plants now and more than 1,000 Ford Escapes come off the assembly line at the Louisville assembly plant. At the Kentucky truck plant heavy duty Ford trucks compliment Fords number one selling truck for more than 30 years, the F-150.

The company that saw its stock dip down to about a buck a share at the height of the recession is now turning out a record amount of more than 30 new models worldwide in 2014, raising the stock to more than $15 a share.

Plants have employees working around the clock and of about 170,000 employees at plants around the world five percent of them work right here in Louisville.

The workforce that continues to grow and pump money into the economy also gives more than $1 million to charity each year.

Ford is selling more vehicles worldwide than ever before. Similar to bourbon when more countries gobble up your product you have to keep the plants going at full capacity.

Ford Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields said, "Of course our products in Louisville play a part in that and I think that's good news because it shows the competitiveness of our work force, here in the U.S. We can take on anybody in the world and provide them great products and do it in a way that provides customers great value around the world."

Later this year Ford will start rolling out a new luxury SUV by Lincoln at the Louisville assembly plant. The Lincoln is based on the Escape, but more luxurious with some different engine choices.

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