Ford To Pump $680M Into Canadian Factory

DETROIT (AP) -- Ford says it will sink 700 million Canadian dollars ($680 million) into an assembly plant near Toronto to add models and meet increased demand for vehicles around the world.

The investment will preserve the Oakville, Ontario, plant's 2,800 jobs and expand its manufacturing capability, the company said Thursday.

The 5.5 million-square-foot plant now makes the Ford Edge and Flex crossover SUVs, as well as the Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKT.

Ford Motor Co. said in a statement that it will bring several new models to the plant to meet rising sales in North America and elsewhere. The statement did not identify the models.

The factory will become more flexible, with the ability to make more of a particular model if sales rise, the company said.

"If consumers suddenly shift their buying habits, we can seamlessly change our production mix without having to idle a plant," Joe Hinrichs, the company's president of the Americas, said in the statement.

Also as part of the investment, the company will increase fuel efficiency research and development efforts in Ontario.

Ford says work on the plant is already underway, with the changes expected to be done by the fall of 2014.

Ford shares added 3 cents in morning trading to $17.66. The stock is up 36 percent since the start of the year, and trading near its annual high of $17.77.

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