Ford’s Bringing in 400 More Employees to Build the 2015 Edge

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Today, Ford announced the start of production of its 2015 Edge. There’s a problem, though – a good one to have. It’s had to bump up the number of employees at its Oakville Assembly plant near Toronto, Canada that will build the new Edge by 40 percent. Last year, the manufacturer stated it would be bringing in 1,000 for the job. That figure is now increasing to 1,400.

Of course, that’s because the Blue Oval will soon be rolling out its newest version of the United States’ best-selling five-passenger crossover utility for seven out of the past eight years. According to the automaker, “The Ford Edge will eventually be shipped around the world, from North America and South America, to Asia, Africa and the Middle East. With the addition of right-hand-drive and a diesel engine, the Edge will also be exported for the first time to Western Europe.” Worldwide, 19 percent of the automotive market is made up of utility vehicles. In fact, that segment has been expanding more than three times faster than the vehicle industry as a whole.

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To supply such global demand, Ford will not only bring new recruits into Oakville, it will provide them hands-on training in a virtual classroom. Employees will learn how to manage new systems and processes. They’ll also be working in a facility that’s had more than $560 million pumped into it. That investment has brought with it more than 250 new robots, some of which apply urethane to the Edge’s glass panes to cut down on the amount of wind noise they produce. Others use lasers to create cleaner and higher-strength roof seams. Robotic automation also ensures the paint on a 2015 Edge is laid down in a way that makes the finish more durable. The use of high-resolution cameras in Ford’s 3D dirt detection technology helps better locate any imperfections in an Edge’s paint job.

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You’ll soon be able to judge for yourself if all of the money, personnel, and resources the Blue Oval is putting into the 2015 Edge is worth it. The vehicle hits American and Canadian dealerships later this spring in SE, SEL, Titanium, and Sport trim lines. A 245-horsepower 2-liter EcoBoost I4, a 315-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, and a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 also making 315 horsepower will be the available engine options. Markets outside of the U.S. and Canada will get the Edge at later dates.

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via [Ford]

Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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