Ford says it plans to hire 7,000 workers in next two years

DETROIT — Ford said Monday that it planned to hire more than 7,000 workers in the next two years.
Ford announced at the North American International Auto Show that it would add 4,000 hourly jobs and 750 salaried jobs this year and at least 2,500 hourly jobs in 2012.
“We have moved from fixing the fundamentals of the business to profitably growing globally,” Ford chief executive Alan R. Mulally said.
Ford executives did not reveal where the jobs would be located. The company already had announced that it would hire 1,800 people this year at a plant in Louisville, Ky., and included those jobs in Monday’s figure.
Other developments at the auto show Monday:
• General Motors’ electric-gasoline Chevrolet Volt was named North American Car of the Year. Ford’s Explorer sport utility vehicle was awarded truck of the year.
• A new race car concept from Porsche is using hybrid technology to boost power. It has an eight-cylinder engine that puts out a hefty 563 horsepower. With the push of a button, electric motors can boost it to 767 hp.
• Honda said Monday it plans to sell a nearly emission-free, natural gas-powered version of its new Civic sedan in all 50 states starting this spring, as well as a new hybrid version of the 2012 Civic, using a lithium ion battery.
• Chrysler will try to refinance its government loans this year as it prepares for an initial public stock offering, and the reduced expense could let the company post a net profit for the first time since it left bankruptcy protection in 2009, chief executive Sergio Marchionne said.
Marchionne said the automaker will need two quarterly net profits before it returns to the stock market as a publicly traded company.

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