Ford Motor Company said on Friday (11 January, 2013) it plans to hire 2,200 salaried workers in the US this year – the largest increase in new salaried workers in more than a decade – to “support the continued aggressive pace of new Ford product introductions”.

The hiring is on top of the over 8,100 combined hourly and salaried jobs the automaker claimed it added in the US in 2012, as it increased production capacity and expanded engineering, manufacturing and other areas to meet the growing demand for more fuel-efficient, high-tech vehicles.

About 1,000 of those jobs were hourly posts brought back to plants in the US from other locations, including suppliers in Japan and Mexico.

The company said it was now over half way to the 12,000 new US jobs it committed to deliver by 2015 as part of its 2011 contract with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

“Our One Ford plan is designed to create profitable growth, and our new hiring is a direct result of our plan working,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas.

“As we expand our product lineup… we need more people in critical areas – such as in a range of engineering activities, vehicle production, computer software and other IT functions…”

The automaker is expanding use of social media to ensure awareness of its latest openings amongst new, “technology-savvy” workers, by using such sites as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The company also is stepping up recruiting efforts to attract military veterans.

The company announced in late December it was spending over US$773m on new equipment and capacity expansions across six manufacturing facilities in southeast Michigan as it delivers on a commitment to spend $6.2bn in its US plants by 2015.

The investments in Michigan will create 2,350 new hourly jobs and allow the company to retain an additional 3,240 hourly jobs. The 2,350 new positions, are however, also are part of the 12,000 hourly jobs Ford is adding across the US by 2015.

“We are proud to expand our US manufacturing operations in line with our aggressive new product introductions – and to create more jobs,” said Jim Tetreault, Ford vice president of North America manufacturing.

“This would not be possible without [UAW cooperation]. By working together, we have crafted labour agreements that improve our competitiveness and allow us to bring jobs back to Ford and the US.”