Ford Truck Plant to Build Green CarsPosted on May 6th, 2009
Michigan Assembly Plant will produce Battery-Electric Focus
Ford announced today that it is investing $550 million to transform its Michigan Truck Plant into a flexible small car production facility. The plant will build Ford’s next-generation Focus, including a battery-electric version for the North American market.
The Michigan facility is one of three light truck plants that Ford is retooling for small car production: the other two are in Louisville, Kentucky and Cuautitlan, Mexico. The retooling is part of Ford’s strategy to bring six new small cars to the American market by 2012.
Electric Focus and Transit Connect
Ford is collaborating with Magna International to develop the electric Focus: power comes from a high-capacity lithium-ion battery pack and a high-voltage electric motor. The battery recharges using either a 110-volt or 220-volt outlet.
At the same time, the automaker is working with Smith Electric on a battery-electric version of its Transit Connect: a small commercial van. Ford is also working on a new hybrid platform for the 2012 model year, as well as a plug-in hybrid.
“The transformation of Michigan Assembly Plant embodies a larger transformation under way at Ford,” said CEO and president, Alan Mulally. “It is about fuel economy and the electrification of vehicles. It is about leveraging our expertise… to deliver best-in-class global small cars.”
The investment will support approximately 3200 jobs at the Michigan plant. The plant formerly produced Ford’s full-sized sport-utility vehicles: the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.
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