02/26/2015 06:08 EST | Updated 04/28/2015 05:59 EDT

Ford Hiring 400 In Oakville, Ont., To Produce New Edge Crossover SUV (PHOTOS)

Joshua Lott via Getty Images
DEARBORN, MI - JUNE 24: Ford Motor Company introduces the 2015 Ford Edge at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center on June 24, 2014 in Dearborn, Michigan. The new Edge features a new design and technologies. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

OAKVILLE, Ont. - Ford Motor Co. says it will add 400 new jobs at its assembly plant in Oakville, Ont. where production of the new Ford Edge crossover SUV is set to launch.

Ford has said last October that 1,000 jobs would be added at the facility by the end of 2014 to build the redesigned Edge.

The automaker will make an announcement about the additional jobs on Thursday when official production of the new version of the vehicle is scheduled to begin.

Ford, which has invested $700 million in the redesign, says the Edge will go on sale this spring in Canada and the United States and in more than 100 other countries.

And, with the addition of right-hand-drive and a diesel engine, the Edge will also be exported for the first time to Western Europe.

Ford says global demand for utility vehicles is up 88 per cent since 2008 and they now account for 19 per cent of the global automotive market.

In Europe, the utility segment grew from nine per cent market share in 2008 to 21 per cent in 2014.

First opened in 1953, the Oakville assembly plant also produces the Ford Flex and the Lincoln MKT. It will also begin production of the 2016 Lincoln MKX this year. The facility has approximately 4,500 employees.

Photo gallery Ford Edge SUV See Gallery