Earlier this year, we reported that Ford would be investing $700 million into their Flat Rock, MI plant for two new models - an electric crossover in 2020 and an autonomous vehicle following a year later. Those plans have changed as Ford will move production of the electric crossover to Cuautitlan, Mexico.
This information comes from an internal Ford memo obtained by Automotive News last night. Flat Rock will become an “AV center of excellence”. AV, in this case, being autonomous vehicles.
“This allows us to bring this exciting new vehicle to global customers in a more effective way to support our overreaching business goals,” the memo says.
Ford spokesman Alan Hall confirmed the move to both Automotive News and The Detroit News last night. Hall said the company sees "a bigger opportunity" for their upcoming autonomous vehicle. Ford will be investing an additional $200 million to Flat Rock over the next few years in addition to the already announced $700 million.
Part of the reason for Ford moving the production of the electric crossover down to Mexico is lower production costs, allowing the company to make a little more profit. Electric vehicles have low-margins when it comes to making money.