The PJ Tatler

Ford-No Bailout, Thriving And Hiring

Feel good story of the summer.

Thanks to swelling demand for its F-Series pickups, Ford announced today it would add 900 jobs on a third shift at its Kansas City factory, and later in the year add an additional 1,100 jobs to launch production of the Ford Transit commercial van. Roughly half of the 2,000 new jobs will go to new hires — an impressive addition of workers by the Detroit automaker, which alone among its Michigan rivals does not import full-size pickups from Mexico.

But it didn’t happen without some tough bargaining — and some help from those who will work the line.

While the national economy has been growing in fits and starts, a revived demand for construction jobs and lower gas prices has made pickups the fastest-growing segment among U.S. shoppers this year. Ford’s F-Series sales have risen 19 percent through April, and Ford expects further gains for the remainder of the year.

By adding in the Transit van production, Ford estimates it and its local suppliers will spur a total of 18,000 jobs in the region. Missouri politicians and the UAW all hailed the move today; the jobs “serve as another reminder of the resilience of American workers and our nation’s manufacturing sector,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director of the National Ford Department.

Even if the 18,000 residual jobs effect is high this is still certainly a boon to the region and almost otherworldly news in this economy.

Yes, some government assistance was provided here, but at the state level. States adjusting tax rates and regulations to compete for industry is a good thing because…competition. Ford deserves continued praise for not pulling out the hankies and crying for federal assistance when that was all the rage (yes, Lefties, I know it was a Bush thing first-didn’t like it then either).