Ford’s largest production plant in the world is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Kentucky Truck Plant opened on Aug. 4, 1969 and has produced more than 10,000,000 vehicles to date. Check out some interesting facts from the plant's history:
- Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant opened its doors in Louisville, Kentucky and the first truck – a green and yellow W series truck – rolled off the production line on August 4, 1969.
- Kentucky Truck Plant is more than 6 million square feet in size, enough to accommodate more than 100 simultaneous football games. The plant was just 2.6 million square feet when it opened.
- The majority of the plant’s initial 3,600 employees in 1969 transferred from Louisville Assembly Plant. Kentucky Truck Plant employs 8,800 people today.
- When Kentucky Truck Plant opened, it produced 25 vehicles per hour. Today, a vehicle rolls off the line every 39 seconds, made possible by advanced manufacturing technologies.
- Production at Kentucky Truck Plant has included 14 different vehicles ranging from trucks to SUVs, school buses and tanks. Heavy duty and extra heavy-duty trucks were the first products ever to roll off the line at the plant.
- In 1999, Kentucky Truck Plant expanded production to build Ford SUVs when it launched the Ford Excursion and still produces some of Ford’s most popular SUVs today.
- By 1979, only 10 years after the plant opened, it had produced one million vehicles. The 1 millionth vehicle, an LNT 9000, was driven by former Ford president Phillip Caldwell from the end of the assembly line through a papier-mâché cake top.
- When it opened, Kentucky Truck Plant featured North America’s largest Electocoating tank for paint primer dipping application. The process, developed by Ford engineers in the 1950s, involves a truck being suspended from a conveyor before being submerged in a tank filled with paint particles that had been suspended in de-ionized water. The 85,000 gallon coating tank was the largest in North America.
- The plant also had the first functional drive track for end-of-line quality assurance among truck manufacturers. The nearly 1.5-mile track was located at end of the final assembly line and allowed for a 25-minute check of all basic components of the newly-completed vehicles.
Production of the new 2020 F-Series Super Duty pickup begins later this year at Kentucky Truck Plant.