Ford Drops $1.6 Billion on Midwestern Truck, Transmission Plants

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

You can’t get your hands on the gear-iest transmission in the land without throwing some money around first.

Ford Motor Company announced today that it will spend $1.4 billion to produce their new 10-speed automatic for future F-150s, and invest $200 million into large truck production at its Ohio Assembly Plant.

The big bucks are bound for the Livonia Transmission Plant near Detroit, which makes Ford’s six-speed automatic transmissions and is gearing up to start 10-speed production this June. That unit will take up home in certain F-150 models, including the Raptor.

The 10-speed automatic was a joint venture between Ford and GM, designed for use in high-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive vehicles. Its first GM application will be in the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

Ford’s Ohio investment will support the production of F-350, F-450 and F-550 Super Duty chassis cabs.

Ford’s cash infusion was part of last year’s collective bargaining agreement with United Auto Workers. The company estimates it will allow for the creation or retention of 650 jobs, the bulk of them at Livonia.

More investment is coming under that four-year agreement, which requires Ford to commit to 8,500 hourly jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and New York. The company has 52,000 unionized workers.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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9 of 17 comments
  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Apr 26, 2016

    I can't tell who makes those trucks. You'll have to make the logo bigger.

    • See 1 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Apr 26, 2016

      @stuki Most of the populace that aren't into the pickup truck scene, can't tell them apart unless they spot the badging/logo. Same with me and CUVs, plus other meaningless traffic. Ask me to identify one with the emblems removed and I'd really have to study it for a few seconds.

  • NeilM NeilM on Apr 26, 2016

    Transmission manufacturing is horrendously capital intensive. Serious precision machining centers for the gears, shafts, etc. A foundry, plus big die casting machines for the transmission cases. Challenging environmental issues from all of the above. And Ford makes a shedload of trucks, so scale it all up severalfold.

  • IHateCars IHateCars on Apr 27, 2016

    I really want to like the new Raptor to possibly replace my '12 SCrew, but 10 speed transmission and a 3.5L twin turbo? I dunno...maybe wait a year or three to see how that combo pans out.

    • Bball40dtw Bball40dtw on Apr 27, 2016

      The engine/transmission combo will make the last Raptor feel slow. Heck, this transmission with the 2.7TT will make the last Raptor seem slow. The 6.2 does make better noises though.

  • Zip89123 Zip89123 on Apr 27, 2016

    Too many gears. The 6-speeds are perfect, and with transmission programing already messed up by jumping to the highest gear for mpg purposes, I suspect more speeds will lead to more transmission issues due to the endless shifting.