Cleveland, Ohio – Ford has announced the first two investments required in its new contract with the United Auto Workers (UAW) -- $1.45 billion for its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, and the Dearborn Truck Plant.
The investments should create 3,000 new jobs and are the first installments of $1.8 billion in spending called for in the 2019 contract.
Michigan Assembly – $750 million, 2,700 jobs. Investments will take place through 2023 to support the Bronco SUV and Ranger pickup. A new modification center will upfit the trucks and SUVs into autonomous and/or electric vehicles (AVs/EVs).
Ford expects its first AVs to come out of the modification center in 2021.
Dearborn Truck – $700 million, 300 jobs. EV versions of the F-150 pickup and hybrid-electric F-150 will require modification work and battery assembly at the massive truck plant.
Ford plans to launch a redesigned F-150 in 2020, including the hybrid model. The fully electric pickup is slated “soon after,” likely in 2021.
“We are investing aggressively in building on our strengths today – including trucks and SUVs – while at the same time expanding our leadership into electric and autonomous vehicles,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president, Automotive.
"The UAW is proud of Ford’s commitment to manufacturing in the United States and in Michigan,” said UAW President Rory Gamble. “This is a direct result of the 2019 collective bargaining process, providing additional jobs – and job security – for UAW members in Southeast Michigan.”
In the 2019 UAW-Ford contract, Ford pledged to invest $6 billion in its U.S. factories, creating or retaining 8,500 jobs. The investments announced this week cover commitments to Dearborn Truck, but the $750 million at Michigan Assembly is Phase 1 of $1.1 billion in committed upgrades there.
About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 19 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.