CHICAGO – July 26, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today joined Ford Motor Company to unveil the new 2011 Ford Explorer.
In January, Governor Quinn and Ford announced that the new Explorer would increase production at Illinois manufacturing facilities and create new jobs in Illinois. Chicago-based manufacturing facilities will now begin production on the new Explorer.
“This is an exciting day for the auto industry in Illinois. The new Ford Explorer has arrived and Illinois workers are building it,” said Governor Quinn. “I salute Ford for investing in its Chicago plants to build the new Explorer and create 1,200 Illinois jobs.”
Assembled in Illinois, the new Explorer will be manufactured with components from Ford's suppliers in 48 states. In addition to the 1,200 jobs created at Illinois Ford plants, the company’s suppliers have agreed to add more than 600 jobs in Illinois, Michigan and Indiana. Using industry estimates by the Center for Automotive Research, 1,200 direct Ford jobs in Chicago are expected to support nearly 12,000 indirect jobs.
Utilizing the enhanced Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit for auto manufacturers, Ford is investing nearly $400 million to launch production of the new Ford Explorer at its Chicago Assembly and Chicago Stamping plants.
Signed into law by Governor Quinn last December, the expansion of the EDGE tax credit enables the auto industry to retain employee income tax withholdings as an alternative to current EDGE corporate tax credit and reinvest those funds into operations that generate greater employment.
"Ford has a long and proud history of building great vehicles and creating jobs in Illinois going all the way back to the Model T," said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. "We are very excited that legacy continues with the reinvented Ford Explorer and we appreciate the Governor's support."
The new Explorer will deliver at least 30 percent better fuel economy than the outgoing model. The vehicle will feature unibody construction, Ford’s EcoBoost engine technology, a six-speed transmission and lightweight materials.
Illinois has added nearly 60,000 jobs in 2010 – more new jobs than any other Midwest state.