Ford and United Auto Workers (UAW) leaders have reached a tentative labor contract, which sees wage increases for workers and production of many models moving outside the U.S. Voting for the deal by the automaker’s 53,000 hourly workers begins this week. Additionally, the agreement fuels rumors that the global Ford Ranger and a resurrected Bronco SUV will be sold in the U.S.
The contract also laid out many other changes to Ford’s production plans. Although Ford agreed to invest $9 billion to upgrade or revamp or keep open its U.S.-based plants over the next four years, production of most cars could leave the U.S. by the end of their current generations. The investment will create or retain 8,500 jobs as well as bring production of unnamed vehicles to assembly plants in Chicago; Wayne, Mich.; and Avon Lake, Ohio.
Production of the Lincoln MKC crossover will cease at the Louisville assembly plant in order to build more Ford Escape models. There are no details on which plant will build the MKC.
One interesting tidbit from the UAW contract agreement says the 6.2-liter V-8 built at the Romeo Engine plant will gain a “new displacement to support Super Duty.” Additionally, the Livonia, Sharonville, and Van Dyke transmission plants will all begin building new transmissions on their production lines.
With the contract, the automaker agreed to remove a $12,000 cap on profit sharing if the automaker posts more than a $12 billion annual profit in North America. Ford’s current North American record was $8.8 billion in 2013. So far, the automaker has earned $6.6 billion in the first three quarters of 2015 or about $6,600 in profit sharing.
Ford’s agreement with the UAW is similar to GM’s contract with the union. Ford workers would get a ratification bonus of $8,500 to GM worker’s $8,000 bonus.