Ford has announced further details of its plan to invest $4.5 billion in electrified vehicles by 2020. The automaker has listed seven of the 13 new global electrified vehicles it plans to introduce, including hybrid versions of its F-150 pickup and Mustang in the USA, a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van in Europe and a fully electric SUV with an expected range of at least 300 miles for customers globally.
“As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better,” stated Mark Fields, Ford President and CEO. “Our investments and expanding line-up reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”
Ford also announced it plans to spend $700 million expanding its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan to create a factory that will build high-tech autonomous and electric vehicles along with the Mustang and Lincoln Continental. The investment in Flat Rock comes from $1.6 billion the company had previously planned to invest in a new plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, which has now been cancelled.
Ford added that, to improve company profitability and ensure the financial as well as commercial success of this vehicle, the next-generation Focus will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. This will make way for two new iconic products at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, where Focus is manufactured today – safeguarding approximately 3,500 U.S. jobs.
“I am thrilled that we have been able to secure additional UAW-Ford jobs for American workers,” stated Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, National Ford Department. “The men and women of Flat Rock Assembly have shown a great commitment to manufacturing quality products and we look forward to their continued success with a new generation of high-tech vehicles.”
Ford is said to be focusing its EV plan on its areas of strength by electrifying its most popular, high-volume commercial vehicles, trucks, SUVs and performance vehicles to make them even more capable, productive and fun to drive. The seven global electrified vehicles announced include:
- An all-new fully electric small SUV, coming by 2020, engineered to deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles, to be built at the Flat Rock plant and sold in North America, Europe and Asia
- A high-volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing, starting in North America. The hybrid vehicle will debut in 2021 and will be built at the Flat Rock plant
- A hybrid version of the best-selling F-150 pickup available by 2020 and sold in North America and the Middle East. The F-150 Hybrid, built at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant, will offer powerful towing and payload capacity and operate as a mobile generator
- A hybrid version of the iconic Mustang that will deliver V8 power and even more low-end torque. The Mustang Hybrid, built at the Flat Rock Plant, debuts in 2020 and will be available in the North America to start
- A Transit Custom plug-in hybrid available in 2019 in Europe engineered to help reduce operating costs in even the most congested streets
- Two new, pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles. One of the two new hybrid police vehicles will be built in Chicago and both will be up-fitted with their police gear at Ford’s dedicated police vehicle modification centre in Chicago
In addition, Ford announced that its global utility line-up will be the company’s first hybrids powered by EcoBoost® rather than naturally aspirated engines, furthering improving performance and fuel economy. The company also plans to be aggressive in developing global electrified vehicles services and solutions. These are said to include EV fleet management, route planning and telematics solutions.