By on May 25, 2010

Ford is in-sourcing important parts of their hybrid-electric vehicles, and they are putting $135m behind the effort to bring the parts home and in-house. Currently, core parts are made abroad. Moving the making home to Michigan will create a whopping 170 jobs in Rawsonville and Van Dyke. But it’s a start. “I am proud of the tremendous success of the UAW and Ford in working together to keep good manufacturing jobs in the U.S.,” said Bob King, UAW vice president, National Ford Department.

The move will cost the jobs of workers in Mexico which currently assemble the battery packs. It will also affect a manufacturer in Japan that makes the transaxles of the transmission system.

Adding another 50 engineering jobs, Ford engineers in Dearborn will design the battery packs while engineers in Livonia will design electric-drive transaxles for the next-generation hybrids. Why? Sherif Marakby, Director of Electrification Programs and Engineering, explains that here in living audio.

There is another reason. Says the Ford press release: “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.” If the investment comes out of the taxpayer’s pocket, some payback should be more than fair.

Ford plans to launch five new full electric or hybrid vehicles for the North American market by 2012 and European markets by 2013.

  • 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
Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

10 Comments on “Rural Electrification 2.0: Homecoming Party At Ford...”

  • avatar
    Tricky Dicky

    Bertel – what’s not clear from your post is who are the suppliers getting stiffed and is there any transfer of IP or is it just a case of shifting production facilities? I reckon it must be the first, in the sense that there is more to be learnt from developing the manufacturing processes of these newer technologies. Thanks.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, the Ford press release mentions nothing about stiffing the suppliers and taking their IP. However, it is quite clear that the former suppliers won’t supply the batteries and transmission parts anymore, and that they will be made in-house by Ford.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford’s current hybrid transmission is made by Aisin. Ford has historically had supply issues with Aisin which limited the number of Escape hybrids that could be produced, so it makes sense that Ford is looking to produce in-house.

    • 0 avatar
      Tricky Dicky

      Yes, I’d heard that Aisin were limiting the output of CVTs to be sold to Ford, so that’s an obvious liability removed. But this press release sounds like something deeper. I think Magna developed the powertrain to be used in the Focus EV? Johnson SAFT were supplying Li-On batteries. NiMh on license from Toyota.

      I’m just wondering what you can start to produce in-house without in some way owning or controlling the corresponding IP? I can’t imagine many Tier 1s wanting to handover any HV/ EV IP at such an immature stage of the technology development. So what gives?

  • avatar

    This is similar to what Delphi is doing in Kokomo, IN, with DOE grant money. The question I have is what happens when the grant money runs out and/or hybrid technologies become a commodity? Will Delphi & Ford then start outsourcing again to lower cost regions?

  • avatar

    Once the government starts handouts, it it hard to get them to stop. The REA is one example. My neighbor across the road gets his REA electricity much cheaper than those of us in the city.Of course he also gets his corn and beans subsidized.

  • avatar

    Though a little late to the game, Ford really seems to be getting it’s act together with electric vehicles

  • avatar

    Although Ford’s press releases say something to a different effect, many of us understood that Ford had to buy the hardware/software from Aisin (part of the Toyota keiretsu) because they did not have a competitive solution.

    We also understood that the limitation on deliveries was largely due to to Aisin’s capacity being used to deliver product to Toyota.

    Some of us suspected that Mr. Mullaly’s trip to Toyota City to meet Mr. Watanabe shortly after the former joined Ford was related to the Company’s efforts to secure this source of supply.

    This is what some of us understood and suspected…

    Now, several years have passed and likely one of two things has happened 1) Aisin needs the remainder of their capacity to produce for Toyota and has licensed Ford to produce this product in the U.S., or 2) Ford has since developed its own competitive system to replace that which it was buying from Aisin.

    By the way, Rawsonville is a town, a road, and a Ford (former ACH, former Visteon, former Ford) plant, but I had understood the jobs were going to be in Ypsilanti which is a town (not a road), and a former, former, former plant on I-94.

    Van Dyke is a town, a road, and a plant. The Van Dyke plant is, however, on Van Dyke Rd. in Sterling Heights, not in Van Dyke, MI (I think it didn’t get the name Sterling Plant because this was already taken by the Ford Sterling Plant on Mound Rd. (itself a former, former, former plant)…

  • avatar
    Telegraph Road

    It’s good to see the Rawsonville plant with new investment. I recall attending a plant open house in 1985 back before it became Visteon’s–many good people and families in UAW local 898.

    The DOE investments, whether at Tesla, Nissan, Fisker, or Ford plants, exemplify the soundness of good industrial policy.

  • avatar

    tho I no longer work in that area, the HF35 program has been an inhouse design from the start.

    I seriously doubt anyone making parts for HEVs or EVs is losing their job at this point with increased volumes industry wide for the parts.

    the batteries will be built at Rawsonville, not the old Ypsi Visteon plant right next to I-94, which is near as I can tell being mothballed at this point. Rawsonville has been back as part of Ford Powertrain for a number of years now.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Jeff S: @sgeffe–True the premium for diesel is cheap when you are paying $4.99 a gallon for regular. I have not...
  • Lou_BC: Slime has been polished in sales seminars.
  • Jeff S: @sgeffe–Good point about cold starts on a hybrid. I have not experienced that on my hybrid Maverick but...
  • Jeff S: Advertising will not help Tesla’s image if Elon does the commercials.
  • Jeff S: I miss the sales guys with the polyester shirts, exposed hairy chests, gold chains hanging down on those...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber