Automaker Ford to ramp up production at Chicago area assembly plants

The automotive manufacturing industry appears to be making strides in its recovery efforts, as Ford Motor Company announced it will be increasing production at two of its Chicago area facilities in order to keep up with demand for new cars.

Ford said it will invest up to $200 million to expand its Chicago Heights Stamping Plant and its Chicago Assembly Plant, as well as add a third shift to support increased production of its Taurus, Lincoln MKS and Explorer models, according to the Chicago Herald-News.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn told the Chicago Herald News the expansion will create over a thousand new jobs.

"This investment package not only will help create 1,200 new jobs and boost the local economy, but it will ensure the next generation of Ford vehicles are built by Illinois workers," Quinn added.

The increase in car production is also creating a ripple effect through the industry, with one auto parts supplier in Kentucky expecting to double the size of its workforce by the first of next year.

Linamar Corporation, a worldwide supplier of auto components for manufacturers, said it will invest more than $40 million to buy new equipment for its Florence facility and add 138 new jobs when new production is up and running in January 2012.