Ford reshuffles investment plan in MI to spend $900M, create 900 jobs

Roman Schwartz
March 22, 2019

Despite retooling in Mexico, Ford is adding more jobs to the Flat Rock plant than the 700 jobs Fields had targeted when he announced it would also build autonomous vehicles for ride-hailing and ride-sharing.

The automaker plans to expand capacity at its Flat Rock assembly plant, which will become the production center for its next battery-powered, fully electric vehicles. Ford already was planning an all-electric sport utility vehicle in 2020 that will be built at its Cuautitlan, Mexico, plant.

The $900 million Ford had planned to spend on AV production in Flat Rock through 2023 will instead be largely dedicated to EVs and the next-generation Mustang, officials said.

The automaker also is spending US$50 million to establish a facility near Detroit where workers will add the self-driving software to autonomous vehicles that will be built at Flat Rock.

The company also announced it will complete Ford's first autonomous vehicles at a new AV manufacturing center in southeast MI, upfitting purpose-built, commercial-grade hybrid vehicles with self-driving technology and unique interiors.

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The drug is instead administered intravenously during a 60-hour infusion at a medically supervised setting, like a hospital. Still, the fact that it needs to be administered in a specialized facility, and not at home, is a drawback, she said.

Meanwhile, more than 3,000 Ford Explorer owners have warned federal regulators and the company that carbon monoxide gas may be slipping into the cabin, according to a report from Bloomberg News.

Wednesday's announcement comes just after a three-day string of venomous tweets by President Donald Trump condemning crosstown rival General Motors Co. for shutting down its small-car factory in Lordstown, Ohio, east of Cleveland. "If an owner has concerns, they should contact their dealer for inspection", a Ford spokesman said in an emailed statement.

This article was updated to reflect that Ford's investment in its MI plants was announced previously.

"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".

Instead, the autonomous models, which will be based on conventional hybrids, will have their self-driving technology installed at a yet to be determined location in MI. Later that year, it reversed the decision, saying it would focus on AVs in Flat Rock and move production of the battery-electric crossover to Mexico. This builds on Ford's recent announcements to exit the heavy truck business in Brazil, restructure its operations in Europe and improve results in China. The company also sees higher gasoline prices and stronger emissions regulations in the future as well as more electric vehicle charging stations. Flat Rock will be dedicated to Ford's future EVs, which will sit on a new, dedicated battery-electric architecture.

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