Ford plans to invest more than $850 million to add more production capacity at a second U.S. factory for its next-generation battery-electric vehicle program.
The investment, which will be made through 2023, will focus on expanding Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant in southeast Michigan. The plant investment also includes funding to build the next-generation Mustang and is part of a $900 million investment in Ford’s operations in southeastern Michigan.
The announcement is tied to Ford’s larger and previously announced plan to invest $11.1 billion in developing electric vehicles.
Ford’s all-electric performance SUV, coming in 2020, will be produced at its Cuautitlán, Mexico plant. The next-generation of EVs, which will share a flexible architecture, will be produced at Flat Rock.
“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,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations said in a statement. “This is good news for the future of southeast Michigan, delivering more good-paying manufacturing jobs.”
Ford also announced Wednesday it is building its next-generation North American Transit Connect small commercial and passenger van in Mexico, starting in 2021.
Ford’s $11 billion investment will be used to add 16 all-electric vehicles within its global portfolio of 40 electrified vehicles through 2022. At the heart of the company’s electrification effort is its Corktown project, a massive 1.2 million-square-foot space dedicated to its electric and autonomous vehicles businesses.
The goal of Corktown is to create a “mobility corridor” — Ford’s version of its own Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley — that ties hubs of research, testing and development in the academic hub of Ann Arbor to Ford’s Dearborn headquarters, and finally to Detroit.
One of those EVs — and perhaps the most anticipated — will be a Mustang-inspired electric crossover that it plans to bring to market in 2020. Ford shared a teaser image last year, depicting a sketch of the vehicle’s backside, which shows a leaning toward the Mustang profile.
The company has also announced plans to offer electrified options in its popular F-Series pickup line.