Ford ramps up Expedition and Lincoln Navigator production

A new $25 million investment for additional manufacturing enhancements brings Ford’s total investment at Kentucky Truck Plant to $925 million and allows the company to increase manufacturing line speed

A new $25 million investment for additional manufacturing enhancements brings Ford’s total investment at Kentucky Truck Plant to $925 million and allows the company to increase manufacturing line speed

With demand for its redesigned full-size SUVs surging, Ford Motor is expanding production of the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.

On Monday, Ford announced a new $25 million investment at the Kentucky Truck Plant to support the increase of manufacturing line speed.

"The response from customers regarding our new full-size SUVs has been exceptional", said Joe Hinrichs, president, Global Operations. Workers at the plant build the Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, and Ford Super Duty.

The all-new Lincoln Navigator is essentially flying off dealer lots, since the 2018 Navigators only spends an average of seven days at the dealership before they are sold.

Ford says that most of the customers buying a Navigator are trading in Land Rover and Mercedes vehicles and go for the high-end Black Label and Reserve models.

Customer demand for the highly-equipped Black Label and Reserve series contributed to an average transaction price increase of more than $21,000 in January versus a year ago.

Most excitingly, however, is Ford's use of a Stratasys Fortus 380mc 3D printer.

Data analytics have helped the plant identify and address thousands of concerns in near-real time.

The plant recently installed a 3D printer onsite to print individual parts for tools necessary to keep the plant running.

In the past, manufacturing a prototype part at Ford using traditional methods has taken eight to 16 weeks at a cost of more than $250,000 in tooling alone.

The Kentucky Truck Plant employs more than 8,400 people.

Earlier this month, Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president for US marketing, sales, and service, said the automaker could not make the Lincoln Navigator fast enough.

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