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AM General to assemble electric Transit Connect

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AM General to assemble electric Transit Connect

BY BRENT SNAVELY

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

AM General LLC., the company best-known for manufacturing the military’s Humvee, has been selected to conduct final assembly of Ford’s Transit Connect Electric commercial van in Livonia.

The announcement was made by Oak Park-based Azure Dynamics Corp., which is designing and manufacturing the lithium ion battery-powered electric powertrain system for the electric Transit Connect.

“We wanted a facility in southeast Michigan that capitalized on the area’s highly skilled automotive workforce and available manufacturing capacity,” Curt Huston, COO of Azure Dynamics, said in a statement. “AM General fit the bill and we are delighted to add their capabilities and know-how to this revolutionary vehicle program.”

South Bend, Ind.-based AM General will receive the electric powertrains from Azure Dynamics and the Transit Connect “gliders” from a Ford plant in Turkey. A glider is a vehicle without an engine, transmission and exhaust.

“We are also pleased to be part of a new production program that will contribute to the industry’s important advances in alternative energy vehicles,” Rick Smith, president of AM General’s commercial business said in a statement.

The current production plan includes an initial quantity of vehicles to be built in late 2010 with full production scheduled to begin in April 2011. Johnson Controls Inc. is supplying the battery packs and cells for the powertrain.

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100518/BUSINESS01/100518048/1210/BUSINESS01/AM-General-to-assemble-electric-Transit-Connect

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