Ford Motor Company announced on May 24 it is investing $135 million to design, engineer and produce key components for the companys next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles.
"Electrified vehicles are a key part of our plan to offer a full lineup of green vehicles, and we are building a center of excellence in the U.S., here in Michigan, to keep Ford on the cutting edge," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "Today's announcement is another important step in our larger strategy to launch a family of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles around the world."
Ford engineers in Dearborn will design the battery packs while engineers in Livonia will design electric-drive transaxles for the next-generation hybrids, based on Fords global C- and CD-car platforms, which go into production in North America in 2012.
The Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., will assemble the battery packs beginning in 2012, moving work to Michigan that is currently performed in Mexico by a supplier. The Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., will build the electric drive transaxles beginning in 2012 from a supplier facility in Japan. Ford is adding a combined 170 jobs at the Rawsonville and Van Dyke facilities to build these key components.
"I am proud of the tremendous success of the UAW and Ford in working together to keep good manufacturing jobs in the U.S.," said Bob King, UAW vice president, National Ford Department. We are pleased that both Rawsonville and Van Dyke Transmission have been selected to produce these important components for Ford's next generation hybrid-electric vehicles. These new products will help the community and local economy in Michigan by creating 170 new direct jobs at Ford and hundreds of other supporting jobs in the community, while helping to reduce emissions that cause air pollution and global warming."
Fords creation of a center of excellence for vehicle electrification in Michigan now includes the design and manufacture of electrified key components as well as total vehicle manufacturing for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles. "We're working hard to make Michigan the center for electrified vehicle technology and production," said Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm. "Today's announcement by Ford represents another step forward in moving Michigan from the Rust Belt to the Green Belt by investing in green technology and creating green jobs."
Ford's global electrification strategy includes plans to launch five new full electric or hybrid vehicles in the compact, midsize and light commercial segments for the North American market by 2012 and European markets by 2013.
This lineup includes:
- The Transit Connect Electric light commercial vehicle in North America later this year and in Europe in 2011
- The Focus Electric in North America in 2011 and in Europe in 2012
- A Lincoln MKZ hybrid, available this fall in North America
- A next-generation hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle based on Ford's global C-car platform in North America in 2012
- A C-MAX hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric model for Europe in 2013