Ford Motor Company announced this month that it plans to hire 2,200 white-collared workers, in its biggest increase of salaried workers since 2001.
The decision was largely made after last year’s encouraging new vehicle sales in the United States, as most automakers reported better-than-expected annual sales in 2012.
Most of the new hires will work in manufacturing, engineering, and computer software, to support what the company calls an aggressive vehicle development strategy. The announcement comes on the heels of last year’s hiring of 8,100 new staff, consisting of both hourly and salaried employees.
“Our new hiring is a direct result of our plan working,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, said in a statement. “As we expand our product lineup of fuel-efficient vehicles, we need more people in critical areas—such as in a range of engineering activities, vehicle production, computer software and other IT functions—to ensure we deliver the vehicles people want and value.”
As part of its new contract with the United Auto Workers union, Ford promised to add 12,000 jobs by 2015. With last week’s announcement, it is now more than half way through its commitment.
Ford’s U.S. sales increased 4.7 percent last year, and it earned almost $6.5 billion in pretax income in the first three quarters of 2012. It has not yet released its fourth-quarter earnings.
The company introduced two new popular vehicles last year, the 2013 Ford Fusion mid-size sedan and the 2013 Ford Escape compact SUV.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s strategic turnaround of the company—dubbed “One Ford”—has paid dividends, with Mulally leading the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker to its 14 straight quarter of profitability.
The hirings will coincide with Ford’s plan to further expand its product line, which will require $6.2 billion in additional investments in its U.S. assembly plants by 2015, the company said.
Shares of Ford rose 1.2 percent on Jan. 11 on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares increased by 20 percent in 2012.
Ford isn’t the only automaker announcing hirings this year. Nissan said that it would hire 400 new staff by end of the year in Mississippi, and Honda also plans to hire additional workers in Ohio.
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