Ford Motors will invest $600 million to transform its Louisville Assembly Plant into a state-of-the-art facility to build the next-generation Escape and create 1,800 new jobs, the carmaker said in a statement.

When the Louisville plant restarts production in 2011, it will operate on two shifts with approximately 2,900 employees, up significantly from the single shift that employs about 1,100. The 1,800 additional jobs are expected to be filled through a combination of transferring employees from other facilities, re-activating workers on indefinite layoff at the time of launch and hiring new workers, the carmaker said on Thursday.

Our Louisville Assembly Plant transformation further proves our commitment to American manufacturing and our commitment to deliver the high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles people really want, said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas.

Working closely with the UAW and Kentucky officials, we have found a way to competitively deliver an important new vehicle that is good for our customers and supports our plan to deliver a well-balanced product portfolio of cars, trucks and utilities.

The 1,800 additional jobs are expected to be filled through a combination of transferring employees from other facilities, re-activating workers on indefinite layoff at the time of launch and hiring new workers, the statement said.

Kentucky's incentives are based upon an initial combined Ford investment at both facilities of about $800 million - the $600 million for Louisville Assembly transformation and the previously invested $200 million for accommodating Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator production at Kentucky Truck Plant, it added.

The carmakers's auto sales in November rose 24.3 percent from a year earlier, led by big increase in sales of trucks and small cars. They sold 147,338 vehicles in November as against 114,536 units sold in November 2009.