Economy

Ford ups investment at Flat Rock, moves EV to Mexico

Production of the new AV would get underway at Ford's Flat Rock Assembly Plant in MI, as the 2020 electric crossover that is being built will be moving to Mexico.

"You're starting to see the foundation of Ford's bet on A-V's (autonomous-drive vehicles)".

The move is part of a larger plan to free up production space at the automaker's plant in Flat Rock, Michigan so it can build its first autonomous-drive vehicle. "We are hiring and investing in the United States", he said. But a Ford source tells FBN the increased focus on the AV will now result in $900M of investment and an extra 150 new jobs beyond the previously announced 700.

While President Trump won't be happy about Ford's decision to move production to Mexico, Ford does say that the decision to build the autonomous vehicle in MI will see it invest $200 million in the Flat Rock plant.

The low-margin electric vehicles ultimately will be cheaper for Ford to build in Mexico.

While campaigning in 2016, Trump repeatedly bashed Ford for its plan to open a small vehicle assembly plant in Mexico. At the time the company said it was planning to start production of the electric crossover with 300 miles of range in summer 2020 at Flat Rock, while a new autonomous model would commence production in 2021. Manufacturing the battery-electric SUV there wouldn't have allowed the company to expand as much as it might need, so executives chose to build the SUV at Ford's Cuautitlán Stamping and Assembly Plant in Mexico.

The company is however not revealing many details about the autonomous-drive vehicle it plans to build in MI except that it will have commercial grade performance and durability.

So while some Ford jobs look to be heading to Mexico, more are coming to the U.S.as well. "We're very excited about what we are doing", said Jim Farley, president of global markets for Ford, CNBC reported.

Farley wrote Ford will supply vehicles to partners based on the partners' needs.

"Next year will be an important time for us as we begin to test both our self-driving technology and business model in a variety of pilot programs in the first city in which we plan to operate an autonomous vehicle business", Farley wrote.



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