Economy

Ford announces $850 million investment at Flat Rock Assembly Plant

Ford announces $850 million investment at Flat Rock Assembly Plant

The company will upfit purpose-built, commercial-grade hybrid vehicles with self-driving technology and unique interiors.

Workers there will begin installing self-driving technology into hybrid vehicles in 2021, the company said. In total, the automaker will invest more than $850 million in the Flat Rock Assembly plant through 2023, adding a second shift. Now it's pivoted toward more electric vehicles at the plant, and says that the plant will build models based on Ford's next-generation flexible electric-vehicle architecture.

Ford on Wednesday announced a shakeup in production plans for future electric and self-driving cars. The number-two US automaker said it is investing about $900 million in southeast MI and creating 900 jobs through 2023 as part of its electric-vehicle push.

The company has selected its Flat Rock Assembly plant in southeast MI to serve as its second manufacturing facility for all-electric vehicles, requiring more than $850 million and adding around 900 new jobs through 2023.

Ford is shifting production of its Transit Connect compact commercial van from Spain to Hermosillo, Mexico, where it will be built in the same factory now producing the Fusion sedan. Ford is involved in a court battle with the government over allegations that it was unfairly skirting the so-called chicken tax - a 25 percent tariff the USA has levied on light-truck imports since 1964 - by bringing over Transit Connects that were built as passenger vehicles and then converting them to cargo vans stateside.

Ford's high-performance electric SUV will feature Mustang-inspired styling
Ford's high-performance electric SUV will feature Mustang-inspired styling

"Our batteries will be sourced here in North America", Hinrichs said. "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".

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investing the claims, but has not yet labeled it a safety defect, which would cost Ford potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to fix.

"If we want to get to a carbon-less society, electric vehicles are how we get there", she said. Dingell said delaying in such action is resulting in autonomous vehicles being developed and produced at a slower pace in the United States and is significantly contributing to the lack of consumer confidence.

This site will focus on modifying and outfitting existing Ford vehicles with new hardware. Ford will continue to build the Mustang at Flat Rock, as an all-new version is in development for a rumored launch within two years. "This renewed investment in our community represents an important opportunity for Downriver families and for the future of our region, and I look forward to seeing the good it will do for our local economy".

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