After years of hard times in Detroit, Ford Motor Co. may be helping to lead the Motor City out of a major economic slump.
The American auto giant posted big third quarter earnings, up 68 percent. The company now plans to add 1,200 jobs in Detroit, welcome news in a state with the nation's second highest jobless rate.
"I think anything in a positive light, rehiring, putting some growth into Michigan is always taken for good news," Jessica Caldwell, auto analyst with Edmonds.com, said. "It definitely looks like there is some production opportunities in the state of Michigan."
General Motors and Chrysler are also investing in Detroit, adding hundreds of jobs and retaining others.
"The big message is, we make this investment back in Michigan, and we can do it competitively. I think it says wonders for what we can do," Mark Fields, President of Ford's Americas division, said.
Ford has been selling popular new models of its cars worldwide. After renegotiating contracts with the unions, the company will be calling some laid off employees back to work.
"It's better than layoffs, get a chance to get additional members which mean additional families paying taxes, paying into community, buying cars, being consumers, so that's always a plus," Ford UAW representative Jimmy Settles said.
"It puts business back in our communities, helps out with development, taking care of the families. It makes it easier," Ford employee Dawn Talley said.
Jobs are a key issue in Michigan's governor's race where the Republican businessman Rick Snyder has been leading Democrat Virg Bernero.