The Auto Truck Group dedicated a new 70,000-square-foot facility in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday, October 9. The facility will handle both complex specialized vehicle upfits and ship thru for the Ford F-150 and Transit. The facility will be able to accomodate 100 vehicles at a time. Complex upfits could take several weeks and more traditional, simple ones just a few hours. The facility will also be able to service the upfits as well.
The new facility combines the work of two facilities originally dedicated to the complex and F-150 lines. The introduction of the Transit necessitated the new facility, which broke ground in January.
The move will make the process of upfitting complex vehicles and ship thru of the Ford vehicles "more efficient," Jim Dondlinger, president of the Auto Truck Group, told Work Truck."We need to be really focused because these are money-making trucks for our customers."
Auto Truck Group added 35 technicians at the new Kansas City facility and added an industrial engineer with experience who formerly worked at Goodyear to help ensure the processes at the facility are run more efficiently.
Among the new additions at the Kansas City facility is a design studio where fleet customers and Auto Truck Group technicians can review pilot vehicles and make changes prior to committing to production.
The Kansas City facility may the model for the company's future. "We're probably going to take this model to other markets," said Frank Cardile, senior vice president of global manufacturing.
The company will next be opening a new facility in St. Louis in November. It will be relocating its Louisville location to a new building in 2015.
Founded in 1918 and headquartered in Bartlett, Ill., the Auto Truck Group serves a variety of fleet markets, including railroads, service fleets, the telecom and energy markets, and regional municipalities.
--by Chris Wolski