Ford Will Produce its New Electric Models in Michigan & Chicago
【Summary】The Ford Motor Co. announced that it will build its upcoming electric vehicles at the automaker's Flat Rock assembly plant near Detroit and at its Hermosillo factory in Mexico.
Recently, General Motors confirmed that it will invest $300 million in its Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan to produce its upcoming electric car. Now Ford seems to be following GM's lead and announced that it will also build electric vehicles at its Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan.
Ford clarified that it will not use the Flat Rock location as a autonomous vehicle center as previously planned. Instead, the automaker plans to use another facility in Southeast Michigan to built its self-driving vehicles.
Ford is investing $900 million to produce its electric car portfolio, which includes the next-generation Mustang. The automaker will move the production of its next-generation Transit Connect van to Mexico from Spain.
The Flat Rock facility is being considered for the North American production of the Transit Connect van.
Details about the company's autonomous vehicles (AVs) remain scarce, but Ford has said that its AVs will be purpose-built as commercial grade hybrid vehicles, which will feature self-driving technology and unique interiors.
The company plans to begin production by 2021. Rather than selling the vehicles to consumers, these vehicles will be utilized for commercial applications.
The Michigan factory will be the second site to produce Ford's battery-powered cars and the company will also set up a plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico.
Ford also said that the Mustang-inspired fully-electric crossover SUV will be built in its Mexico factory and will make its debut sometime next year.
Ford's Hermosillo facility in Mexico, which currently produces Lincoln MKZ and Ford Fusion, will produce the third-generation of the Transit Connect van after it stops the production of the two sedans.
The Ford Transit Connect Van
Ford is also involved in legal battle with the U.S. government for allegedly evading the 25 percent tariff on its light-truck imports from Spain and Turkey by importing its Transit Connect vans as passenger vehicles, then later converting them into cargo vans after being shipped to the U.S.
Speculations suggest that high tariffs are the reason why Ford moved its manufacturing facility to Mexico from Spain. Tariffs have also caused unrest among carmakers from across the globe.
Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Volvo's electric car brand Polestar said earlier this month that if US-China trade disputes result in high tariffs then the introduction of company's upcoming electric cars in the American market will be financially infeasible for the Swedish automaker.
Manish Kharinta is a automotive writer based in the Los Angeles area. He has worked for automotive industry websites TheSmokingClutch.com, CarDekho.com and CarBikeindia.com. His experience ranges from covering auto shows, to car reviews and breaking automotive news. Manish aims to bring forth his unique perspective on automotive design and technological innovations in the automotive industry.
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