CHICAGO, IL— Source: Ford to invest $400 million in Chicago Assembly Plant, $30 million in Chicago Stamping Plant by Joseph S. Pete

Ford agreed to invest $400 million in the Chicago Assembly Plant and another $30 million in the Chicago Stamping Plant as part of the tentative four-year contract United Auto Workers members are considering now. Calumet Region Ford workers will vote on the proposed contract on Nov. 6 and 7.

The deal includes $8.2 billion in investment at Ford plants, something the UAW pushes for in every contract to gain more job security.

Ford pledged to continue to build the Ford Explorer, the hybrid Ford Explorer, and the Police Interceptor at the far South Side plant at Torrence Avenue. It also agreed to make the Lincoln Aviator there through its planned lifecycle.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker will also pump $30 million into the Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights, where it will continue to stamp the Explorer, Transit and Super Duty, and the Aviator through its planned lifecycle.

Ford also agreed to invest $900 million in Dearborn Truck, $50 million in Flat Rock Assembly, $1 billion in Kansas City Assembly, $750 million in Kentucky Truck, $1.2 billion in Louisville Assembly, $250 million in Michigan Assembly and $2.1 billion in Ohio Assembly.

It's pumping $20 million into Dearborn Engine, $100 million into Cleveland Engine, $90 million into Lima Engine, $3 million into Woodhaven Forging, $120 million into Livonia Transmission, $230 million into Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center, $200 million into Rawsonville Components, $130 million into Sterling Axle, $80 million into Buffalo Stamping, $150 million into Dearborn Stamping, $150 million into Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing and $150 million into Woodhaven Stamping.

During the last contract in 2019, Ford pledged to invest $200 million in its nearly century-old Chicago Assembly Plant, originally making T-Model Ford cars and long made the Ford Taurus sedan before focusing on the Explorer. The company no longer makes the Taurus and has given up on most cars in favor of costlier, higher-margin pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Automotive plants are capital-intensive and require massive investments to upgrade the manufacturing equipment and assembly lines, especially when they need to be retooled to make new vehicles. Ford said in 2019 it had invested $1 billion in Chicago Assembly and Chicago Stamping to make the current slate of vehicles produced there.

Region construction firms like Hammond-based Korellis have done some of the work at the sprawling 2.8 million-square-foot plant at 12600 Torrence Avenue. Nearly 5,000 workers, many from Northwest Indiana, work at the 113-acre site nestled amid wetlands, slag piles, factories, and herons stalking in ponds just south of the Calumet River just across the state line on Chicago's Southeast Side.