CHICAGO—Ford Motor Co. will invest $1 billion in its manufacturing operations here to expand production of its Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator sport utility vehicles.

The automaker will also add 500 jobs at its assembly plant and stamping plant, said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations. The expansion brings the total number of workers at its Chicago-area plants to 5,800.

The overhaul of the plants is expected to begin in March and be completed in the spring.

“When it’s all finished, Chicago Assembly will have an all-new, state-of-the-art body shop, an all-new paint shop and new tooling to build this new lineup. And the Chicago Stamping Plant will have all new lines to support the new vehicles,” Hinrichs said.

Investments will also be made to improve working conditions at the plants, including new team break areas on the plant floor, increased security, better lighting and a renovated cafeteria.

The investment isn’t the only good news Ford’s Chicago workforce received this month. Workers recently learned they would receive profit-sharing checks of $7,500 for 2018.