Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Friday morning, Mayor Greg Fischer, Congressman John Yarmuth and Ford officials officially unveiled the 2013 Ford Escape in Louisville.
It's the first official look in Louisville at the city's auto future - Escape sales were up 38 percent in 2011 and Ford said they expect an even bigger increase with this new design.
"It's not just about bringing a new product to Louisville, it's about bringing a winning product," said Jason Sprawka, the Ford Escape brand manager.
The model at the Louisville Auto Show is one of the last prototypes as the Fern Valley Road Plant is gearing up to make hundreds of thousands of Escapes each year.
"We're putting the final touches on the plant right now and then the second week of March we start production on two shifts and our employment level is going to be around 3,000 people," said John Savona, the Louisville Assembly Plant manager.
And by summer, another 1,300 workers will push LAP employment to more than 4,000 workers - a big boost to the local economy.
"We love it. now we gave them incentives though so we don;t get all of it back but, we get part of it back and then the spin-off effect obviously is wonderful," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
That spin-off effect is estimated at anywhere between 5 and 10 jobs for every auto worker job. WHAS11 checked the parts suppliers for the Escape and found thousands more local jobs.
Martin Rea's Shelbyville stamping plant invested $12 million to expand the plant to manufacture parts for the Ford Escape. Piston Automotive in Jeffersontown makes the Escape's cooling module assembly.
"We're happy because when people are working they're spending money and obviously they're happier as well. So it's a great thing for the city," said Fischer.