Ford Motor Co. today announces a $400 investment in its Kansas City, MO, assembly plant to accommodate a new vehicle when production of the Ford Escape cross/utility vehicle is transferred to the auto maker’s Louisville, KY, facility.

The outlay will be used to install a new body shop, tooling and “other upgrades,” Ford says in a statement.

The auto maker is mum on details of the new vehicle, saying it will be revealed at a later date.

Production of the next-generation Escape will begin at Louisville late this year, but Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans tells Ward’s “there could be some overlap of production of the current model and new model, as the plant fulfills all final orders of the current model.”

Plans to add an additional product were outlined in Ford’s contract with the United Auto Workers union in 2009. Kansas City also makes the F-150, which will continue to be built there on a separate line.

Ford says it plans to retain the 3,750 full-time hourly positions at the plant. The auto maker credits the UAW as well as the tax incentives provided by the state of Missouri for making the investment possible.

Kansas City marks the fourth North American facility Ford is retooling for production of new, more fuel-efficient vehicles, the auto maker says.