For the second time in the last six months, Ford has increased its stake in an electric future. In a press release on Thursday, Ford announced that it would be “expanding its [battery electric vehicle] manufacturing footprint to its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in southeast Michigan. It will become the production home to vehicles from the company’s next-generation battery electric flexible architecture.” This new plant will join their new manufacturing facility in Mexico which will build Ford’s “Mustang-inspired” Mach 1 electric crossover.
In October of last year, Ford announced they would be putting $11 billion into electric vehicle development by the year 2022. Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett told investors that the company would cut costs totaling $14 billion over the next 5 years, moving capital investments from sedans and traditional gas engines in favor of developing trucks, hybrid and all-electric cars.
Ford’s five-year plan includes rolling out 40 electrified models. 16 of the 40 would be 100% electric, the other 24 would be plug-in hybrids. While the Flat Rock Assembly Plant is currently building the company’s Mustang and Lincoln Continental vehicles, Ford plans to invest $850 million over the next 5 years in the facility to not only further their electric vehicle development. At the October press conference, Hackett told reporters. “We’re all in on this and we’re taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we’re electrifying them. If we want to be successful with electrification, we have to do it with vehicles that are already popular.”
Ford appears to be playing an aggressive game of catch-up along with pretty much every other auto manufacturer as electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla continues to grow in leaps and bounds. When asked why Ford was pumping so much money in such a tight time frame into EV’s, Ford’s president of global operations Joe Hinrichs said, “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.”
According to Ford, the capital investment in the Flat Rock plant will result in roughly 900 new jobs over the next 5 years.