Ford Gets Big at Kentucky Truck
The Ford Expedition, for being a consumer vehicle, not something meant for industrial purposes, is big. The standard version has a wheelbase of 122.5 inches and an overall length of 210 inches. Should that not be big enough, there is the Expedition MAX variant, which has a 131.6-inch wheelbase and is 221.9 inches long.
(This and subsequent images: Ford)
The other thing that is big about the vehicle, which is built along with its sibling the Lincoln Navigator (which is similarly big, exceedingly well executed and immensely lux, such that it was awarded the 2018 North American International Truck of the Year award) at the Kentucky Truck Plant, is the demand.
According to Ford, Expedition demand increased 35 percent and it gained 5.6 percentage points in market share; Ford sold 54,661 Expeditions in the U.S. in 2018. The sales of the Navigator increased 69.9 percent in 2018 compared with 2017, reaching 17,839 units.
So Ford is going to be increasing the production at Kentucky Truck by 20 percent. This is going to be accomplished by increasing the line speed. But this just isn’t a matter of making the line move faster. A team of hourly and salaried workers at the plant analyzed the operations and determined which workstations would be bottlenecks in the process, and then added additional workstations, breaking up tasks so that they could be accomplished within the allotted time.
Because space is finite in the facility, they also had to come up with clever ways to use the available space while adding these steps, doing things like adding pits and platforms so that more workers could work within a given area.
In addition to which, they are adding 550 jobs at Kentucky Truck to handle this big demand for the Expedition and Navigator.
Another big thing about the Expedition is what it brings to the company financially. According to Ford, the Expedition’s average transaction price is $62,700, an $11,700 increase over what it had been.
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