Production of the new 2017 Ford Escape is under way at Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky, with emphasis on maintaining the quality that made the vehicle an award-winner last year.

Ford has renewed and expanded a contract with Ceva Logistics for inbound and outbound services to its passenger car assembly plant in Louisville, Kentucky.

The new contract, which builds on services Ceva has provided for the last four years, will include metering, small lot logistics, return container management and just-in-time transport to and from the plant. Ceva will also provide sequencing of various parts to the line in colour and type order.

Ceva’s scope of services for Ford now includes container management, deconsolidation, metering, sequencing, transport and inventory control.

The logistics provider is building an additional facility and equipping it to provide additional capacity for the Louisville plant as part of the latest contract.

“It is exciting to renew and expand our manufacturing support services to Ford in Louisville,” said Kerry Zielinski, Ceva’s vice-president of business development for automotive in North America. “We appreciate this commitment from one of our largest global customers.”

“We value the relationship we have globally with Ford,” added Antonio Fondevilla, Ceva’s executive vice-president of the automotive sector. “We appreciate Ford’s trust in us to provide it with top-quality supply chain services assisting day-to-day operational logistics.”

Ceva has also recently invested in new facilities in Kansas City and Louisville to support the Kentucky Truck Plant, adjacent to its existing facility.

The Louisville assembly plant is one of Ford’s highest-volume production facilities in the world and can manufacture six different vehicles at any time. The plant has been making the Escape since 2012, including the popular Escape SUV. The plant built almost 306,500 units of the vehicle last year and is currently assembling the 2017 model.