Last updated: August 26. 2014 10:29AM - 231 Views

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LOUISVILLE (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Monday it has beefed up its workforce and investment at a Kentucky plant to support production of its new Lincoln SUV as the automaker looks to reinvigorate its luxury brand.


The company added 300 workers and invested another $129 million recently at the Louisville Assembly Plant, where Ford makes the Lincoln MKC and Ford Escape, said John Savona, Ford’s director of manufacturing.


The sprawling plant ranks as one of Ford’s largest manufacturing facilities. The automaker invested $600 million in 2010 to renovate the factory that had churned out Explorers for decades until that production was shifted elsewhere.


The updates gave the plant the flexibility to assemble multiple models at the same time without requiring downtime for tooling changeovers.


The MKC went on sale in May. It’s the second of four all-new Lincoln vehicles the automaker plans to introduce by 2016.


“We think it’s going to be a very strong competitor in the premium small utility segment, which is the fastest-growing luxury segment on the globe right now,” Savona told reporters after the event, which drew state and local officials and union leaders.


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