Here Come the Kansas City-Built 2015 Ford F-150s
As of last Friday, Ford is running at full steam to produce the aluminum-bodied F-150. After undergoing 13 weeks of upgrades, the Kansas City, MO plant is now online.
Employees there are producing all versions of the half-ton pickup. However, they’re the only Ford workers manufacturing F-150s with eight-foot beds and heavy payload packages for commercial fleet buyers.
The new plant couldn’t have opened soon enough. According to Ford, “In January, F-Series had its strongest sales month since 2004 – Ford’s best sales year ever for F-150. Retail sales increased 7 percent in February.” Fortunately, the combined powers of the Kansas City Assembly and Dearborn Truck facilities will enable Ford to crank out 700,000 F-150s a year, which will be sold in 90 global markets. F-Series pickups sit on dealer lots for only 18 days; the Blue Oval says light-duty full-size trucks, on average, sit in inventory for 105 days before being driven home by customers.
Both F-150 factories received similar renovations. Specifically, the Kansas City location was outfitted with equipment such as machines that join F-150 panels with rivets and structural adhesives for increased durability, and robots that scan the trucks’ bodies with cameras to support quality control. The KC plant also has a test course that replicates rough road conditions, which I’m sure plenty of F-150 drivers will encounter in the real world…especially when the 2017 Raptor comes out.
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