By on August 19, 2019

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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]

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26 Comments on “Report: Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Tapped for Brace of Midsize EV Crossovers...”

  • avatar

    Good luck Ford. Good luck Flat Rock hourly workers. So far no mainstream manufacturer has designed and built an affordable (as compared to an ICE vehicle) electric vehicle that offers good range and accommodations for 5 or more passengers. I don’t trust Tesla yet. The Bolt isn’t terrible but crazy expensive. Not holding my breath.

    • 0 avatar

      “So far no mainstream manufacturer has designed and built an affordable (as compared to an ICE vehicle) electric vehicle that offers good range and accommodations for 5 or more passengers.”

      Kind of reminds me of when I heard “Digital cameras will never replace film for professional photography”.

      But, here’s a better cautionary tale from 1995:

      • 0 avatar

        Great link mcs. It remind me today oracles including B&B on this site: no one will ever buy BEV, battery changing problem will never be solved, electricity will be generated burning coal or natural gas to the end of time, autonomous driving will never be a reality, robots (or AI) will never be smarter than humans, we have terraform planets to live there and not otherwise and so on in lieu of “progress is impossible” philosophy.

      • 0 avatar

        The main difference there was a demand for digital camera’s. Just about every single manufacturer not named Tesla has flopped with electric vehicles. This whole venture will be Hackett’s waterloo.

      • 0 avatar

        You’re suggesting people are Luddites while espousing a technology that was superseded over a hundred years ago. Ignorant.

        • 0 avatar

          In 2017 the CT6 electric sedan became the slowest selling sedan in GM’s history. They only sold 500!!!!!

          The Bolt is at the bottom of the GM sales chart. There are several Cadillac SUVs that outsell the Bolt by a 2 to 1 margin.

          There is no doubt in my mind this new Ford EV will flop badly. Current automotive history and tastes back up my claim.

          Tesla basically has this market to itself.

    • 0 avatar

      So what would be a reasonable price premium for a mainstream midsize EV crossover? I’d say somewhere between $5k and $10k.

      Assume 12k miles/year, $3.50/gal gas, and 13c/kWh electricity (your figures may vary, but none of these are crazy). An ICE car in this class probably gets around 24 mpg combined, while an EV in this class will probably do about 2.8 mi/kWh. Annual fuel cost for the ICE is $1,750; for the electric it is $558. The electric will also save a few hundred annually in maintenance. So assume a fuel + maintenance savings of $1500/year, which is probably conservative, and go from there.

      That is before we weigh other pros and cons, like (on the pro side) never having to gas up and never breathing exhaust, and (on the con side) slower long road trips.

      • 0 avatar

        If pumping gas were really the hardship that EV automatons whine that it is, then there would still be full service gas stations on every corner.

        I strongly suspect that paying a premium for ICE vehicles isn’t far in our futures. They’ll need the money to subsidize wasteful EVs, and ICE cars will still be a bargain for people who value their time and freedom.

        • 0 avatar

          Of course, it’s not the act of pumping gas that’s painful, it’s the time occupied by a trip to the gas station. But you knew that; you’re just being obtuse.

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t have a hardship, because when it comes to commuting I only buy gas every other week. I do it at Costco and grab some steaks to grill while I’m there. When I travel by car, stopping for gas every five hours for four minutes is a convenience. A car you have to plan your trip around is not a convenience, but you pretend you don’t understand that while calling me obtuse.

      • 0 avatar

        “slower long road trips” …. people can always rent an ICE vehicle for the road trip. I do so regularly now that I don’t have a long-distance vehicle of my own.

        In fact, renting for trips is kinda nice – always a newish vehicle, usually the latest and the greatest tech included, and you’re not stuck with the same old same old on each trip.

        I have never had the same rental twice, even though I rent from the same two companies again and again, depending on their on-hand inventory. Getting a specialty vehicle like an Expedition EL requires reserving one ahead of time, but everything else is “what you see is what you get.”

      • 0 avatar

        “So what would be a reasonable price premium for a mainstream midsize EV crossover?”

        I’m going to be a douche and say parity with the cost of an ICE vehicle (or at least a hybrid/sport version) is where they will need to be to have any hope of success beyond niche volume. Likely through some combination of EV incentives, carbon taxes, and tech advancements.

        • 0 avatar

          Americans are bad at math, but not that bad at math. I think they’ll pay a bit more once they understand the gas and maintenance savings. I do think it might be toward the lower end of my range just because so many of the buyers are going to be thinking in terms of savings over a 3-year lease period.

  • avatar

    My employer just bought a Bolt LT “Fast Charging” model for a touch under $34,000. This includes a $5500 rebate. So not TOO outrageous, but still it is a rather small vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      “a Bolt for a touch under $34,000” huh! the Bolt I looked at was a touch over $43,000 and the rebate wouldn’t help me one bit! Small, yes, a touch under my Buick Encore that had a sticker of $25k with $5k off, so very expensive when comparing to an ICE !

      • 0 avatar

        I bought a fully optioned Bolt Premier, sticker $43,950, for a hair over $35k. That’s before the tax rebate.

        Had I been willing to go for the “Shock” color I could have gotten a couple thousand more, but it wasn’t worth it!

        • 0 avatar

          So GM took a bath on your Bolt, the dealer took a bath, and anyone who pays their taxes and doesn’t have their hands out took a bath on your Bolt. How scalable do you think that model is, before you go and attack other people’s ability to do math? Parasites need hosts.

  • avatar

    electric cars are great for people that own homes with attached garages.

  • avatar

    I was so relieved to learn that the Continental will still be built in China.
    Ford Deathwatch.
    GM Deathwatch.
    Nissan Deathwatch.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    “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?!…no man, just no.

  • avatar

    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.

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