Ford Is Investing $900 Million In Its Michigan Facilities For Electric And Autonomous Initiatives

By Dan Anderson • Mar 24, 2019

Ford Motor Company announced recently that it is going to invest $900 million in its southeast Michigan operations and it is targeting 900 incremental direct new jobs through 2023. This announcement is tied to Ford’s $11.1 billion investment in global electric vehicles.

The plan includes the expansion of production capacity at the Flat Rock (Mich.) Assembly Plant and includes the development of next-generation fully electric vehicles. And the Flat Rock Assembly plant is going to become the production home to Ford’s next-generation battery electric flexible architecture.

“We’ve taken a fresh look at the growth rates of electrified vehicles and know we need to protect additional production capacity given our accelerated plans for fully electric vehicles,” said Ford’s president of global operations Joe Hinrichs in a statement. “This is good news for the future of southeast Michigan, delivering more good-paying manufacturing jobs.”

Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon – Photo Credit: Ford

As part of the plan, Ford is targeting to invest more than $850 million in the Flat Rock Assembly Plant through 2023 and add a second shift. And the plant investment also includes funding for building the next-generation Mustang and is part of a $900 million investment in Ford’s operations in southeastern Michigan.

And Ford’s workers in southeast Michigan will also build Ford’s first autonomous vehicles starting in 2021. And Ford is investing in an Autonomous Vehicle center where employees are going to install the unique self-driving technology and interiors into vehicles. These vehicles are going to follow the all-electric performance SUV coming in 2020 — which is being built at Ford’s Cuautitlan, Mexico, plant.

“As we ramp up AV production, this plan allows us to adjust our investment spending to accommodate the pace of growth of this exciting new technology,” added Hinrichs. “This new plan combines our core strength in mass manufacturing with the agility and leanness we’ve shown with our modification centers for specialty manufacturing.”

Ford is also building its next-generation North American Transit Connect small commercial and passenger vans in Mexico starting 2021. By building the small van at its assembly plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, Ford said it increases U.S. and Canadian vehicle content consistent with the proposed USMCA trade agreement — which supports U.S. manufacturing jobs and boosts the sourcing of components with North American suppliers. And it also helps the company improve the profitability of its North American Transit Connect lineup.

“We continue driving to find new and better ways to boost our fitness as a company and one of the world’s leading manufacturers,” explained Hinrichs. “Working together with our employees, union partners and government officials around the world, we are continuing to unlock new solutions to deliver world-class vehicles people want and value even more efficiently.”