Ford Motor Company claimed it was again the top automaker in America in terms of production, sales of US made cars, trucks and SUVs and employment of hourly autoworkers.

Following on from a little recent controversy, Ford said over 82% of the vehicles it sold in the US in 2020 were assembled in the US – up from 75% in 2019 and more vehicles than any other automaker, even factoring in industry and production disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ford also led US light vehicle production and sales in 2018 and 2019, according to IHS Markit light vehicle production and sales data.

Ford assembled 1.7m vehicles in the US in 2020 – 188,000 more than any other automaker – during a year that included the model year changeover of the best-selling F-150 pickup.

It also exported 280,000 US-assembled vehicles to markets outside of the US, more than any other auto manufacturer, or one in six.

It is also the largest employer of UAW-represented autoworkers.

"The numbers confirm Ford's leadership and commitment to American manufacturing and the US economy. Not only is the auto industry the backbone of the US economy, Ford is vital to it," said Kumar Galhotra, president, the Americas and International Markets Group. "We are a proud supporter of American manufacturing – and we do back it up year after year, investing in our workforce and the country."

Since the beginning of the current UAW Ford labour agreement, Ford has announced it will invest US$2bn in US manufacturing, add approximately 3,000 US hourly jobs and retain hundreds more. Approximately 2,100 of those already are in place in Wayne, Michigan, where the company has invested $750m to build the Bronco and Ranger, along with a modification centre where those vehicles will be personaliSed for customers. Ford remains the largest employer of US hourly autoworkers in the industry.

This investment is part of a commitment to invest $6bn in its US plants and create and retain 8,500 jobs in America as part of its current four-year contract with the UAW.

In September, Ford revealed the production of the first 2021 F-150s would be at the historic Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan where the company is investing $700m to build the truck. At that time, the company also began construction of the new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, adjacent to the Dearborn Truck Plant, where the upcoming all-electric F-150 will be built, adding another 500 jobs.

The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center that will assemble the electric F-150 is also being designed to use smart and connected technologies that can communicate directly with the vehicles which will then allow those vehicles to be more sustainable once they're on the road.

A $150m investment earmarked for Van Dyke Transmission Plant will retain about 225 jobs and help transform the plant to build e-motors and e-transaxles for future vehicles, including the all-electric F-150.

Kansas City Assembly Plant received more than $400m investment and an additional 150 jobs to build the F-150 and the zero-emissions E-Transit.

Ford and its iconic F-Series trucks are an important driver of the US economy. A 2020 Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study found F-Series – assembled 100 percent in the US and America's best-selling truck since 1977 – is among the most valuable consumer goods in America and a key employment driver.

Among other specific findings: FFord is the leading US auto manufacturer – responsible for one in five vehicles assembled domestically, supports 1m American jobs and up to 14 American jobs are supported by each direct F-Series employee.

Ford contributes approximately $100bn to the US GDP and the F-Series contributes nearly $50bn.

Of the more than 2m full-sized pickup trucks assembled in the US in 2019, Ford assembled nearly half – twice as many as any other automaker.

The F-Series franchise alone generates more revenue than major companies such as McDonalds US, Nike, Coca-Cola, Visa and Netflix and is among the most valuable consumer goods in America – bigger than all major league sports.