Ford unveils new cop car at South Side plant

September 1, 2010 6:35:40 PM PDT
For years, the Crown Victoria was the basic model used for police cars across the country. Now Ford has a new vehicle and it will be built at a plant right here in Chicago.

Ford unveiled the Police Interceptor with near-bullet proof doors and all-wheel drive at a South Side plant Wednesday.

"This is a great thing for us and it's a great thing for them. And they are thrilled to see that stability come back a'cause we're bringing the product in," said Jan Allman, Chicago Assembly Plant Manager

The reveal happened before hundreds of Ford employees. It was a happy day at the plant after two years of layoffs and cutbacks in the auto industry.

Last month President Obama visited the plant. The local union credits local success on the president's bailout of other automakers.

"Even though Ford didn't accept bail out money, the collapse of the supplier chain would have led to the collapse possibly of Ford motors. So it's been a giant turn around," said Grant Morton, UAW Local 551.

Tauruses were on the assembly line Wednesday. They get final inspections before heading to dealers. The plant will add a second shift for a new Explorer that goes into production in November.

"We did some transfers, we brought back some peoplewho were on layoff and we're hiring about 600 people locally to staff that second shift," said Allman.

"It's wonderful to see the numbers expanding, the product line expanding," said Morton.

There aren't any orders yet for the Interceptor but the hope is when the orders come in jobs will follow. Production of the Interceptor begins this time next year.


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