Mexico is out and Flat Rock is in as Ford Motor Company outlines its future electrification plans at a press conference earlier today.
Hybrid Mustang and Transit Custom van
Ford has seen the future and it's not only electric, but also much of it will be taking place in southeastern Michigan.
That's the word from Ford president and CEO Mark Fields as he outlined the Dearborn-based manufacturer's future fleet electrifications plans to a group of assembled media as well as thousands who view the presentation in a live stream.
"As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people's lives better," said Fields. "Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years."
Ford's bold plans include investing $4.5 billion in electrified vehicles by 2020 – 13 new global vehicles in all.
Fields was able to describe seven of those this morning and they run the gamut from iconic to all-new and include:
Small electric SUV – Ford is targeting an estimated driving range of 300 miles for this all-new vehicle coming by 2020. Built in Flat Rock, it will be sold in North America and exported to markets in Europe and Asia.
New autonomous vehicle – no further description other than it will be high-volume hybrid and engineered for commercial ride hailing and/or ride sharing starting with the North American market. Built in Flat Rock, it will debut in 2021.
F-150 hybrid pickup – available by 2020 for the North American and Middle Eastern markets, the F-150 hybrid will be built at the Dearborn Truck Plant, offer significant towing and payload capacity and be able to operate as a mobile generator.
Mustang hybrid – Ford is promising V8 power and better low-end torque when the latest iteration of the Flat Rock-built Mustang debuts in 2020, starting with the North American market.
Transit Custom plug-in hybrid van – probably built in Turkey, it will be available in Europe beginning in 2019, Ford notes the reduced operating costs versus the gasoline-only Transit Connect.
Two hybrid police vehicles – Nothing specific as far as vehicle size and type, but both will be pursuit-rated and upfitted for law enforcement duty at Ford's Chicago police vehicle modification center, while one will also be built in Chicago (which hints it will be SUV-based).
Ford Mexico plans shelved
In addition to those seven vehicles, ford also announced that, globally, its utility vehicles will also be the brand's first hybrids powered by turbocharged EcoBoost, rather than normally-aspirated, gasoline engines.
As part of the plan for the new models, Ford will be investing $700 million in the next four years to create a new Manufacturing Innovation Center at its Flat Rock Assembly facility in Flat Rock, Michigan. Once things get rolling, an additional 700 new jobs will be created.
In order to free up the budget, Ford also announced that it is shelving plans for a new $1.6 billion plant that was to be located in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The next-generation Focus, originally scheduled to be assembled at the new facility, will be manufactured at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico.