Report: Ford's Flat Rock Assembly Tapped for Brace of Midsize EV Crossovers

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

While Ford has a “Mustang-inspired” electric crossover on the way for 2020 and a ICE-free F-150 coming down the pipe, the automaker’s future green product offensive remained murky — until now, apparently. The company’s Flat Rock, Michigan assembly plant will give birth to two electric vehicles in three years’ time, a new report claims.

Both vehicles are — quelle surprise — crossovers, bearing both the Ford and Lincoln logos. To make it happen, however, a famous nameplate will almost certainly have to die.

According to three sources with knowledge of Ford’s product plans who spoke to Automotive News, the two vehicles will share a similar footprint. Appearing for the 2023 model year, the two vehicles will occupy the same space as the midsize, two-row Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus, with production beginning in Flat Rock in late 2022 or early 2023.

A common, dedicated electric vehicle platform will appear beneath both vehicles. Back in March, Ford said the plant, which currently builds the Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental, will host vehicles built on the company’s next-generation EV architecture. That announcement came with a $900 million funding pledge.

While the automaker has yet to confirm the two products, one source claims Ford talked up production of 65,000 units per year in communications with suppliers. Before these green machines can roll out of Flat Rock, however, a slow-selling model will almost certainly have to vacate the premises. Another source claims the Continental will cease production in late 2021 — hardly a shock, as obituaries for the low-volume sedan have been pending since Ford announced the eventual cancellation of its Fusion platform mate.

Chinese production of the Continental will continue, the source added, leaving open the possibility of an import presence in the U.S.

Better hope for improved trade relations, Continental fans.

With these two vehicles now taking shape in the product pipeline, Ford’s list of future EVs grows to five: the Mexican-built, Mustang-inspired crossover (likely named the Mach E), the electric F-150, these two midsize crossovers, and an EV co-developed with EV startup Rivian. Ford’s growing alliance with Volkswagen will breed a crop of electrics based on VW’s MEB platform, but those future vehicles are earmarked for European customers.

[Image: Ford]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Aug 19, 2019

    "Better hope for improved trade relations, Continental fans." Naa, I'd rather it just die than be imported from China. Some cars it might be O.K. to import, but the Continental?! man, just no.

  • Akear Akear on Aug 20, 2019

    If Trump is reelected it will be almost impossible for any of the big three to import vehicles from china. It is just not going to happen.

  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.