Ford will be creating a new 'center of excellence' in Michigan to assemble battery packs and electric-drive transaxles. The parts are being designed for the next generation of hybrids from Ford which will be based on Ford’s global C- and CD-car platforms. The next generation of hybrids is expected to begin production in 2012.
Ford will be investing $135 million in the new center. In a statement, Ford's president of the America's Mark Fields said "Electrified vehicles are a key part of our plan to offer a full lineup of green vehicles, and we are building a center of excellence in the U.S., here in Michigan, to keep Ford on the cutting edge."
The Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti will assemble the battery packs beginning in 2012 The Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights will build the H35 electric drive transaxles beginning in 2012 from a supplier facility in Japan. Ford is adding a combined 170 jobs at the Rawsonville and Van Dyke facilities to build these key components.
More from the statement on the Center of Excellence
Ford’s creation of a center of excellence for vehicle electrification in Michigan now includes the design and manufacture of electrified key components as well as total vehicle manufacturing for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles. Ford is adding more than 50 engineers to work on electrification as we bring these technologies in-house. By physically bringing research, engineering and manufacturing closer together, Ford, its suppliers, universities and related industries can drive both innovation and job growth in this evolving form of transportation.
Ford’s in-house team will design and engineer the advanced lithium-ion battery systems powering its next-generation hybrid vehicles. These battery systems will be designed specifically for the company’s next-generation hybrids, including the new global CD-car platform hybrid and the new global C-car platform hybrid, which will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in 2012.
To launch the new transaxle, Ford will add engineering and production jobs in Southeast Michigan, including about 130 manufacturing jobs at its Van Dyke facility, while investing about $125 million. The investment includes a grant received from the Department of Energy to help create green technology jobs in the U.S. This investment includes manufacturing capital equipment, launch and engineering costs and supplier tooling upgrades, all required to support the production launch of the HF35 transaxle.
Ford's global electrification strategy includes plans to launch five new full electric or hybrid vehicles in the compact, midsize and light commercial segments for the North American market by 2012 and European markets by 2013. This lineup includes:
- The Transit Connect Electric light commercial vehicle in North America later this year and in Europe in 2011
- The Focus Electric in North America in 2011 and in Europe in 2012
- A Lincoln MKZ hybrid, available this fall in North America
- A next-generation hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle based on Ford's global C-car platform in North America in 2012
- A C-MAX hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric model for Europe in 2013