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BIG BUT AGILE While Chicago never saw the automotive manufacturing glory of Detroit, it has one of the country’s oldest relationships with the auto industry. Originally used to produce the revolutionary Model-T, Ford Motor Company has operated a factory in Chicago since 1924, according to Bloomberg. Until recently, the factory was used to produce Ford’s sedans – models which have seen poor sales in the last few years, casting doubts over the security of the factory’s workforce. However, in February 2019, Bloomberg reported Ford’s announcement that the automaker will invest $1bn in two of its Chicago factories and hire a further 500 workers, as the company pivots production away from its sedan line and towards more profitable sport-utility vehicles. “We’re playing to our strengths,” Kumar Galhotra, head of Ford’s North American operations, told reporters in January. “That means we’re allocating our capital differently. 90% of our capital is now going into trucks and utilities.” The added investment will bring the total number of Ford employees in Chicago to 5,800. The almost-centuryold factory will be given a complete, high-tech refit, including updated lighting systems, security and a new body and paint shop. This combination of investment from large manufacturers, educational institutions, politicians and small, agile firms means that, whatever shape or size it may be, Chicago is working to manufacture a bright future for itself. w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

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Profile for Business Chief USA

Business Chief USA Magazine – April 2019  

Business Chief USA Magazine – April 2019