Michigan - Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it would expand by 635 jobs a commitment to bring work to its U.S. unionized plants by 2012 that has been performed by parts suppliers.
Ford has already brought 1,340 jobs back to its U.S. plants for work parts makers performed in the United States or elsewhere and the decision to raise that figure to 1,975 would exceed a commitment to the United Auto Workers by 25 percent.
Ford, which reported a $2.6 billion second-quarter profit in July, is expected to be the initial focus of contract talks next year between the UAW and the Detroit-based automakers Ford, General Motors GM.UL and Chrysler.
The initial commitments arose from Ford's agreement with the UAW in the 2007 national contract. The UAW is expected to seek to recover some of the concessions it has agreed to during the downturn, which included job, wage and benefit cuts.
The additional jobs will be added at nine Ford plants.
Could there be more? We'll look at it, Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, said in prepared remarks at a Center for Automotive Research conference.
Ford has already announced plans to bring battery pack assembly for hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles back from Mexico to a plant near Detroit. The overall plans include adding some machining, stamping and assembly jobs that might have been performed by suppliers.
The UAW has worked with us closely on a more competitive agreement that helped us create the business case for moving more work back to Ford facilities, and back to America, Fields said.
Separately, Fields said Ford expects to build 200,000 more EcoBoost turbocharged engines by 2013 than originally forecast. It expects to produce about 1.5 million of the engines.
(Reporting by David Bailey, editing by Dave Zimmerman)