Ford Loosens Purse Strings, Showers Michigan With Cash
The $6 billion in funding promised in Ford Motor Company’s new four-year labor contract is starting to be seen and heard. Having secured a walletful of incentives from the state of Michigan, Ford is now promising about $1.45 billion and 3,000 new jobs for the Southeast Michigan area.
Ford’s cash dump, announced Tuesday, will flow into three facilities in the area, one of which doesn’t yet exist.
The automaker’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, receives roughly half of the money and stands to add 2,700 jobs over the coming three years. While the plant’s Ranger and upcoming Bronco (due for a reveal next spring) will absorb some of that $750 million, the funding will also go towards the construction of a Wayne modification center.
“Employees at Ford’s Autonomous Vehicle, Bronco and Ranger modification center in Wayne will complete Ford’s first autonomous vehicles starting in 2021, including installing the vehicles’ unique self-driving technology and unique purpose-built interiors,” the automaker said in a release, adding somewhat cryptically, “At that same location, Bronco and Ranger will be modified for customers.”
Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly was originally the intended site for the company’s autonomous efforts, but that changed earlier this year. Back in March, Ford claimed Flat Rock would instead churn out the existing Mustang and a crop of electric Ford and Lincoln models, punting its future AV operations to an unspecified locale in the Southeast Michigan area.
The Detroit News reports that Ford garnered $35.3 million in state incentives for its Michigan investments.
Elsewhere in the region, Ford’s Dearborn truck plant will receive $700 million and add 300 jobs to support production of hybrid and electric variants of the brand’s F-150 pickup. The hybrid model appears next year; the EV should debut in 2021. The Dearborn investment includes a facility where battery cells — a whole lot of them — will be packaged into the truck’s no-doubt-massive battery packs.
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