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Found 15 results

  1. 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. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News View full article
  2. 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. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News
  3. NAFTA Renegotiation Thread

    NAFTA The latest rounds of the renegotiation talks have started, and they have an emphasis on U.S. demanding new content rules. Just to summarize, the U.S. wants more domestic content, which means NAFTA region countries, and 50% mandatory U.S. content, just to name a few of the changes. This hopefully isn't too political of an issue, it's more to do with how you feel about the rules should be for automakers and their suppliers doing business in America, Canada and Mexico. I think the U.S. demands - on paper, atleast are fair. U.S. is the largest market for autos in NAFTA region. I want to hear more of just how you feel about this issue. Feel free to source links where more of your opinions can be expanded and read more about.
  4. The news isn't getting any better at General Motors' CAMI plant where workers have been on strike for a month after the automaker and Canadian union Unifor were unable to reach an agreement. Already, the strike has caused GM to make adjustments and idle some of their plants in North America, and there are concerns about the shrinking stock of Chevrolet Equinoxes. But now the stakes have been raised. According to Reuters and Automotive News, General Motors issued a warning to leaders at Unifor that it will start winding down production of the Equinox at CAMI unless the strike is called off. Unifor leader Jerry Dias was told by GM officials that the automaker would begin ramping up Equinox production at the San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plants if the strike was not called off. "GM just told us today that they are going to ramp up production in Mexico. They have declared war on Canada," Diaz told Reuters. GM had no immediate comment on Dias' statement when reached by Reuters. According to a source at GM, the discussions between them and Unifor have been going nowhere and there is "a high degree of frustration." Because of this, GM is planning to study how quickly key suppliers for the Equinox could move their operations down to Mexico. No final decision on CAMI's fate has been decided according to the source, but the time frame for getting a deal done is narrowing. Mexico has been the dividing point between GM and Unifor. The union objected to GM's decision to lay off 600 workers at CAMI when it moved production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico. Unifor wants CAMI to be the lead plant for Equinox production by "giving it more production if Equinox sales rise and making it the last to scale back production if sales fall." But GM has invested $800 million into the plant for retooling to build the new Equinox. The automaker believes this should be enough commitment and putting it into writing isn't necessary. According to the source, there is no such language in any of the other union contracts. The strike has gotten so bad that the Government of Ontario has stepped in, urging both groups to resolve this rift. “I feel like we’re engaged in a poker game, but the interests of Ontario are sitting on the table right now,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario's Economic Development Minister. “It’s an uncomfortable place to be, obviously, and we’d really like to urge the parties to find a resolution to this as quickly as possible before permanent damage is done.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters
  5. The news isn't getting any better at General Motors' CAMI plant where workers have been on strike for a month after the automaker and Canadian union Unifor were unable to reach an agreement. Already, the strike has caused GM to make adjustments and idle some of their plants in North America, and there are concerns about the shrinking stock of Chevrolet Equinoxes. But now the stakes have been raised. According to Reuters and Automotive News, General Motors issued a warning to leaders at Unifor that it will start winding down production of the Equinox at CAMI unless the strike is called off. Unifor leader Jerry Dias was told by GM officials that the automaker would begin ramping up Equinox production at the San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plants if the strike was not called off. "GM just told us today that they are going to ramp up production in Mexico. They have declared war on Canada," Diaz told Reuters. GM had no immediate comment on Dias' statement when reached by Reuters. According to a source at GM, the discussions between them and Unifor have been going nowhere and there is "a high degree of frustration." Because of this, GM is planning to study how quickly key suppliers for the Equinox could move their operations down to Mexico. No final decision on CAMI's fate has been decided according to the source, but the time frame for getting a deal done is narrowing. Mexico has been the dividing point between GM and Unifor. The union objected to GM's decision to lay off 600 workers at CAMI when it moved production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico. Unifor wants CAMI to be the lead plant for Equinox production by "giving it more production if Equinox sales rise and making it the last to scale back production if sales fall." But GM has invested $800 million into the plant for retooling to build the new Equinox. The automaker believes this should be enough commitment and putting it into writing isn't necessary. According to the source, there is no such language in any of the other union contracts. The strike has gotten so bad that the Government of Ontario has stepped in, urging both groups to resolve this rift. “I feel like we’re engaged in a poker game, but the interests of Ontario are sitting on the table right now,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario's Economic Development Minister. “It’s an uncomfortable place to be, obviously, and we’d really like to urge the parties to find a resolution to this as quickly as possible before permanent damage is done.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters View full article
  6. Ford Moving Focus Production to China

    Ford announced today that once the current Ford Focus ends production in mid-2018, the model will shift production of the 2019 Ford Focus to China rather than Mexico. The Focus is currently built at Ford's Michigan Assembly in Wayne, MI along side the C-Max Hybrid. It has been known since mid-2015 that Focus production would be moving out of the U.S. once this model run was finished. During the 2016 Presidential election, then Candidate Trump criticized Ford for the move to Mexico, however Ford pointed out that they were making room for the upcoming Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco and that no jobs at Wayne Assembly will be lost as it retools for truck and SUV production. The Ford Focus will be the third vehicle sold in the United States built in China. The other models currently manufactured in China for U.S. consumption are the Volvo S60 Inscription and the Buick Envision. Ford states this move will save $500 million on top of $500 million projected from a move to Mexico. Part of that savings comes from a reduction of the number of plants. Ford will only re-tool the plant in China rather than both China and North America. In the same announcement, Ford stated they will spend $900 million to retool its Kentucky Truck plant for the new 2018 Ford Expedition and 2018 Lincoln Navigator. No word as to which vehicle will take the place of the Focus in the Mexico plant. Press Release on Page 2 Source: Ford Media, Picture courtesy of Ford Motor Company FORD INVESTS IN KY. PLANT TO BUILD NEW EXPEDITION, NAVIGATOR; SMART, SPACIOUS NEW FOCUS FOR N.A. TO BE GLOBALLY SOURCED Ford is investing $900 million in Kentucky Truck Plant, securing 1,000 U.S. hourly jobs to build all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator All-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator to be exported to more than 55 markets globally – including Navigator to China; the company is a top auto exporter in the U.S. Exciting new Ford Focus on the way for North American customers beginning in 2019 with more technology, more space and a number of new Focus models. Next-generation Focus for North America will be globally sourced primarily from China – rather than Hermosillo, Mexico – with production starting in the second half of 2019. Current model production ends in mid-2018 This manufacturing plan allows the company to further grow its leadership as an exporter and deliver world-class Focus to North American customers in a way that makes business sense – with no U.S. employees out of a job Ford is saving $1 billion in investment costs versus its original Focus production plan, improving the financial health of its Focus business and further improving manufacturing scale in China – all helping create a more operationally fit company DEARBORN, Mich., June 20, 2017 – Ford today announced manufacturing actions centered on improving the company’s operational fitness and building vehicles that excite customers around the world. Ford is investing $900 million in Kentucky Truck Plant for plant upgrades to build the all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, which begin arriving in dealerships this fall. Both full-size SUVs will be exported to more than 55 markets globally – including Navigator to China. Ford is a top auto exporter in the U.S. The $900 million investment secures 1,000 jobs for hourly workers at the Louisville plant. This is in addition to the $1.3 billion investment and 2,000 jobs created at that plant in late 2015 to build the all-new Ford Super Duty. Kentucky Truck employs nearly 7,600 full-time hourly workers – and Ford has more U.S. hourly workers and builds more vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker. “Large SUVs are attracting a new generation around the world – and we’re finding new ways to deliver the capability, versatility and technology that customers around the world really want with our all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president, Global Operations. “At the same time, we also have looked at how we can be more successful in the small car segment and deliver even more choices for customers in a way that makes business sense.” Ford’s next-generation Ford Focus will be more spacious and packed with technology that customers want. Production begins in the second half of 2019, with models coming from the company’s existing Focus plants globally. Most new North American Focus models initially will come from China, with additional variants coming from Europe later. No U.S. hourly employees will be out of a job tied to the new manufacturing plan for Focus. Production of the current North American Focus at the Michigan Assembly Plant continues through mid-2018. Following that, the plant will be converted to produce the Ranger midsize pickup truck in late 2018 and the Bronco midsize SUV in 2020. The new North America Focus production plan saves $1 billion in investment costs versus the original plan – $500 million on top of the $500 million savings announced earlier this year by cancelling plans for an all-new manufacturing facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and moving Focus production to Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico, plant. “Finding a more cost-effective way to deliver the next Focus program in North America is a better plan, allowing us to redeploy the money we save into areas of growth for the company – especially sport utilities, commercial vehicles, performance vehicles as well as mobility, autonomous vehicles and electrified vehicles,” Hinrichs said.
  7. Ford announced today that once the current Ford Focus ends production in mid-2018, the model will shift production of the 2019 Ford Focus to China rather than Mexico. The Focus is currently built at Ford's Michigan Assembly in Wayne, MI along side the C-Max Hybrid. It has been known since mid-2015 that Focus production would be moving out of the U.S. once this model run was finished. During the 2016 Presidential election, then Candidate Trump criticized Ford for the move to Mexico, however Ford pointed out that they were making room for the upcoming Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco and that no jobs at Wayne Assembly will be lost as it retools for truck and SUV production. The Ford Focus will be the third vehicle sold in the United States built in China. The other models currently manufactured in China for U.S. consumption are the Volvo S60 Inscription and the Buick Envision. Ford states this move will save $500 million on top of $500 million projected from a move to Mexico. Part of that savings comes from a reduction of the number of plants. Ford will only re-tool the plant in China rather than both China and North America. In the same announcement, Ford stated they will spend $900 million to retool its Kentucky Truck plant for the new 2018 Ford Expedition and 2018 Lincoln Navigator. No word as to which vehicle will take the place of the Focus in the Mexico plant. View full article
  8. Ford dropped a few bombshells this morning at a press conference in Flat Rock, MI. The big one was the American automaker dropping plans to build $1.6 billion assembly plant in Mexico (which was in the early stage of construction). Instead, Ford will invest $700 million into their Flat Rock that will add 700 jobs to the plant. “We look at all factors and in our view, we see a more positive U.S. manufacturing environment under President-elect Trump and the pro-growth policies and proposals that he’s talking about. So this is a vote of confidence for President-elect Trump and some of the policies he may be pursuing,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields during the press conference. Fields was quick to point out this decision was made recently and independent of President-Elect Donald Trump, who has slammed the company for moving production of their small cars to Mexico. The investment will bring a new manufacturing innovation center and the ability to produce electrified and autonomous vehicles, alongside the Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental. While Ford has canned the new Mexico plant, that doesn't mean plans for production of the Focus going there haven't. Ford will expand their Hermosillo, Mexico plant to add Focus production. The expansion will add 200 jobs. Ford also announced that within the next five years, they would introduce 13 new electric and hybrid vehicles around the world. Seven of those vehicles were revealed and include, Transit Connect plug-in hybrid for Europe in 2019 Hybrid version of the Mustang in 2020. This promises to have V8 power and " even more low-end torque." F-150 hybrid in 2020. An all-new fully electric small SUV in 2020 High-volume autonomous vehicle built for ride-hailing or sharing in 2021 and be built at Flat Rock. Two new, pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles. Source: Ford, The Detroit News, Motor Trend Press Release is on Page 2 FORD ADDING ELECTRIFIED F-150, MUSTANG, TRANSIT BY 2020 IN MAJOR EV PUSH; EXPANDED U.S. PLANT TO ADD 700 JOBS TO MAKE EVS, AUTONOMOUS CARS Ford confirms seven of 13 new global electrified vehicles coming in the next five years, including F-150 Hybrid, Mustang Hybrid and Transit Custom plug-in hybrid Ford to launch fully electric SUV with an estimated range of at least 300 miles and two new electrified police vehicles The automaker is investing $700 million and adding 700 direct new jobs in Flat Rock (Michigan) Assembly Plant to create a factory capable of producing high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles – plus the iconic Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental Ford is piloting wireless technology that makes recharging an electric vehicle as easy as pulling into a parking spot; in addition, the company is testing EV prototypes this year in Europe, New York and other large U.S. cities Ford is canceling plans for a new $1.6 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and investing $700 million in the Flat Rock, Michigan, plant’s expansion; Ford will build its next-generation Focus at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, to improve company profitability FLAT ROCK, Mich., Jan. 3, 2017 – Ford today detailed seven of the 13 new global electrified vehicles it plans to introduce in the next five years, including hybrid versions of the iconic F-150 pickup and Mustang in the U.S., a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van in Europe and a fully electric SUV with an expected range of at least 300 miles for customers globally. The automaker also announced plans to invest $700 million to expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan into a factory that will build high-tech autonomous and electric vehicles along with the Mustang and Lincoln Continental. The expansion will create 700 direct new jobs. The moves are part of a $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020, offering customers greater fuel efficiency, capability and power across Ford’s global vehicle lineup. The plans are part of the company’s expansion to be an auto and a mobility company, including leading in electrified and autonomous vehicles and providing new mobility solutions. “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 Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “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 is focusing its EV plan on its areas of strength – electrifying its most popular, high-volume commercial vehicles, trucks, SUVs and performance vehicles to make them even more capable, productive and fun to drive. The seven global electrified vehicles announced today include: An all-new fully electric small SUV, coming by 2020, engineered to deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles, to be built at the Flat Rock plant and sold in North America, Europe and Asia A high-volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing, starting in North America. The hybrid vehicle will debut in 2021 and will be built at the Flat Rock plant A hybrid version of the best-selling F-150 pickup available by 2020 and sold in North America and the Middle East. The F-150 Hybrid, built at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant, will offer powerful towing and payload capacity and operate as a mobile generator A hybrid version of the iconic Mustang that will deliver V8 power and even more low-end torque. The Mustang Hybrid, built at the Flat Rock Plant, debuts in 2020 and will be available in the North America to start A Transit Custom plug-in hybrid available in 2019 in Europe engineered to help reduce operating costs in even the most congested streets Two new, pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles. One of the two new hybrid police vehicles will be built in Chicago, and both will be upfitted with their police gear at Ford’s dedicated police vehicle modification center in Chicago In addition, Ford announces that its global utility lineup will be the company’s first hybrids powered by EcoBoost® rather than naturally aspirated engines, furthering improving performance and fuel economy. The company also plans to be as aggressive in developing global electrified vehicles services and solutions. These include EV fleet management, route planning and telematics solutions. Building the Future To support the new era of vehicles, Ford is adding 700 direct new U.S. jobs and investing $700 million during the next four years, creating the new Manufacturing Innovation Center at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant. Employees there will build the all-new small utility vehicle with extended battery range as well as the fully autonomous vehicle for ride-hailing or ride-sharing – along with the iconic Mustang and Lincoln Continental. “I am thrilled that we have been able to secure additional UAW-Ford jobs for American workers,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, National Ford Department. “The men and women of Flat Rock Assembly have shown a great commitment to manufacturing quality products, and we look forward to their continued success with a new generation of high-tech vehicles.” This incremental investment in Flat Rock Assembly Plant comes from $1.6 billion the company previously had planned to invest in a new plant in Mexico. Ford today announced it is cancelling plans for the new plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It also announced that, to improve company profitability and ensure the financial as well as commercial success of this vehicle, the next-generation Focus will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. This will make way for two new iconic products at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, where Focus is manufactured today – safeguarding approximately 3,500 U.S. jobs. Unique ElectrificationTechnology Building on two decades of experience, Ford is applying lessons learned to deliver patented technology, software and services to appeal to truck customers, SUV owners, performance enthusiasts, high-volume commercial fleets and everyone in between. “Ford’s global EV strategy is to build on our strengths,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, Product Development, and chief technical officer. “While some others seem to be focused on marketing claims and numbers, we’re focused on providing customers even more of what they love about their Ford vehicles. This means more capability for trucks, more productivity for commercial vehicles and more performance for sports cars – plus improved fuel economy.” This year, Ford begins testing its new generation of EV technology. In Europe, Ford will put the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid on the road later this year, along with a new set of mobility services, telematics and connectivity solutions. In addition, in New York and several major U.S. cities, Ford is testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in some of the world’s most demanding traffic conditions. These Transit Connects build on the success of the world’s first hybrid taxi – the Ford Escape Hybrid – which also was the world’s first hybrid SUV and the first North American-built hybrid. Many Escape Hybrid taxis are still on the road, moving passengers for more than 350,000 miles each and still using their original batteries. Today, Ford is America’s top-selling plug-in hybrid brand and second in overall U.S. electrified vehicle sales. New Services Applying approximately two decades of leadership in EVs and commercial vehicles, Ford also is working on a suite of services to make EVs even easier to live with. “Innovative services can be as important to customers as the electrified vehicles themselves,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president of Purchasing and Ford’s EV champion. “We are investing in solutions to help private customers as well as commercial fleet owners seamlessly incorporate these new vehicles and technologies into their lives.” Ford already has a memorandum of understanding with several other automakers in Europe to create an ultra-fast charging network projected to be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. An initial target of about 400 sites in Europe is planned. By 2020, consumers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points. Ford also is piloting wireless technology on company EVs in the U.S. and Europe that make recharging as easy as pulling into a parking spot so drivers never forget to recharge. Wireless recharging extends electric-only range for short distance commuters, even during quick stops. FordPass® also can help consumers reserve charging times. Understanding customers Ford has been extensively studying how past and current EV owners use their vehicles. The company has sold more than 520,000 electrified vehicles in North America since 2005 and 560,000 globally. In studying 33,000 Ford EV owners that have made 58 million unique trips, Ford has learned: 88 percent of customers’ habitual daily driving distance is 60 miles or less. For plug-in hybrids, the average refueling distance is 680 miles, making gas station trips rare Customers want as much electric range as possible, but range anxiety drops over time as they become more comfortable and familiar with the technology 80 percent of Ford EV customers charge once a day; 60 percent during evenings Ford EV customers collectively have plugged in their vehicles a total of 9.4 million nights An overwhelming majority of Ford EV owners expect to replace their current EV with a new one, additional Ford research shows. Specifically: 92 percent of battery electric car customers say they will purchase another battery electric vehicle as their next purchase 87 percent of plug-in hybrid customers want another plug-in for their next vehicle View full article
  9. Ford dropped a few bombshells this morning at a press conference in Flat Rock, MI. The big one was the American automaker dropping plans to build $1.6 billion assembly plant in Mexico (which was in the early stage of construction). Instead, Ford will invest $700 million into their Flat Rock that will add 700 jobs to the plant. “We look at all factors and in our view, we see a more positive U.S. manufacturing environment under President-elect Trump and the pro-growth policies and proposals that he’s talking about. So this is a vote of confidence for President-elect Trump and some of the policies he may be pursuing,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields during the press conference. Fields was quick to point out this decision was made recently and independent of President-Elect Donald Trump, who has slammed the company for moving production of their small cars to Mexico. The investment will bring a new manufacturing innovation center and the ability to produce electrified and autonomous vehicles, alongside the Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental. While Ford has canned the new Mexico plant, that doesn't mean plans for production of the Focus going there haven't. Ford will expand their Hermosillo, Mexico plant to add Focus production. The expansion will add 200 jobs. Ford also announced that within the next five years, they would introduce 13 new electric and hybrid vehicles around the world. Seven of those vehicles were revealed and include, Transit Connect plug-in hybrid for Europe in 2019 Hybrid version of the Mustang in 2020. This promises to have V8 power and " even more low-end torque." F-150 hybrid in 2020. An all-new fully electric small SUV in 2020 High-volume autonomous vehicle built for ride-hailing or sharing in 2021 and be built at Flat Rock. Two new, pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles. Source: Ford, The Detroit News, Motor Trend Press Release is on Page 2 FORD ADDING ELECTRIFIED F-150, MUSTANG, TRANSIT BY 2020 IN MAJOR EV PUSH; EXPANDED U.S. PLANT TO ADD 700 JOBS TO MAKE EVS, AUTONOMOUS CARS Ford confirms seven of 13 new global electrified vehicles coming in the next five years, including F-150 Hybrid, Mustang Hybrid and Transit Custom plug-in hybrid Ford to launch fully electric SUV with an estimated range of at least 300 miles and two new electrified police vehicles The automaker is investing $700 million and adding 700 direct new jobs in Flat Rock (Michigan) Assembly Plant to create a factory capable of producing high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles – plus the iconic Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental Ford is piloting wireless technology that makes recharging an electric vehicle as easy as pulling into a parking spot; in addition, the company is testing EV prototypes this year in Europe, New York and other large U.S. cities Ford is canceling plans for a new $1.6 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and investing $700 million in the Flat Rock, Michigan, plant’s expansion; Ford will build its next-generation Focus at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, to improve company profitability FLAT ROCK, Mich., Jan. 3, 2017 – Ford today detailed seven of the 13 new global electrified vehicles it plans to introduce in the next five years, including hybrid versions of the iconic F-150 pickup and Mustang in the U.S., a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van in Europe and a fully electric SUV with an expected range of at least 300 miles for customers globally. The automaker also announced plans to invest $700 million to expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan into a factory that will build high-tech autonomous and electric vehicles along with the Mustang and Lincoln Continental. The expansion will create 700 direct new jobs. The moves are part of a $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020, offering customers greater fuel efficiency, capability and power across Ford’s global vehicle lineup. The plans are part of the company’s expansion to be an auto and a mobility company, including leading in electrified and autonomous vehicles and providing new mobility solutions. “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 Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “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 is focusing its EV plan on its areas of strength – electrifying its most popular, high-volume commercial vehicles, trucks, SUVs and performance vehicles to make them even more capable, productive and fun to drive. The seven global electrified vehicles announced today include: An all-new fully electric small SUV, coming by 2020, engineered to deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles, to be built at the Flat Rock plant and sold in North America, Europe and Asia A high-volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing, starting in North America. The hybrid vehicle will debut in 2021 and will be built at the Flat Rock plant A hybrid version of the best-selling F-150 pickup available by 2020 and sold in North America and the Middle East. The F-150 Hybrid, built at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant, will offer powerful towing and payload capacity and operate as a mobile generator A hybrid version of the iconic Mustang that will deliver V8 power and even more low-end torque. The Mustang Hybrid, built at the Flat Rock Plant, debuts in 2020 and will be available in the North America to start A Transit Custom plug-in hybrid available in 2019 in Europe engineered to help reduce operating costs in even the most congested streets Two new, pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles. One of the two new hybrid police vehicles will be built in Chicago, and both will be upfitted with their police gear at Ford’s dedicated police vehicle modification center in Chicago In addition, Ford announces that its global utility lineup will be the company’s first hybrids powered by EcoBoost® rather than naturally aspirated engines, furthering improving performance and fuel economy. The company also plans to be as aggressive in developing global electrified vehicles services and solutions. These include EV fleet management, route planning and telematics solutions. Building the Future To support the new era of vehicles, Ford is adding 700 direct new U.S. jobs and investing $700 million during the next four years, creating the new Manufacturing Innovation Center at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant. Employees there will build the all-new small utility vehicle with extended battery range as well as the fully autonomous vehicle for ride-hailing or ride-sharing – along with the iconic Mustang and Lincoln Continental. “I am thrilled that we have been able to secure additional UAW-Ford jobs for American workers,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, National Ford Department. “The men and women of Flat Rock Assembly have shown a great commitment to manufacturing quality products, and we look forward to their continued success with a new generation of high-tech vehicles.” This incremental investment in Flat Rock Assembly Plant comes from $1.6 billion the company previously had planned to invest in a new plant in Mexico. Ford today announced it is cancelling plans for the new plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It also announced that, to improve company profitability and ensure the financial as well as commercial success of this vehicle, the next-generation Focus will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. This will make way for two new iconic products at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, where Focus is manufactured today – safeguarding approximately 3,500 U.S. jobs. Unique ElectrificationTechnology Building on two decades of experience, Ford is applying lessons learned to deliver patented technology, software and services to appeal to truck customers, SUV owners, performance enthusiasts, high-volume commercial fleets and everyone in between. “Ford’s global EV strategy is to build on our strengths,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, Product Development, and chief technical officer. “While some others seem to be focused on marketing claims and numbers, we’re focused on providing customers even more of what they love about their Ford vehicles. This means more capability for trucks, more productivity for commercial vehicles and more performance for sports cars – plus improved fuel economy.” This year, Ford begins testing its new generation of EV technology. In Europe, Ford will put the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid on the road later this year, along with a new set of mobility services, telematics and connectivity solutions. In addition, in New York and several major U.S. cities, Ford is testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in some of the world’s most demanding traffic conditions. These Transit Connects build on the success of the world’s first hybrid taxi – the Ford Escape Hybrid – which also was the world’s first hybrid SUV and the first North American-built hybrid. Many Escape Hybrid taxis are still on the road, moving passengers for more than 350,000 miles each and still using their original batteries. Today, Ford is America’s top-selling plug-in hybrid brand and second in overall U.S. electrified vehicle sales. New Services Applying approximately two decades of leadership in EVs and commercial vehicles, Ford also is working on a suite of services to make EVs even easier to live with. “Innovative services can be as important to customers as the electrified vehicles themselves,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president of Purchasing and Ford’s EV champion. “We are investing in solutions to help private customers as well as commercial fleet owners seamlessly incorporate these new vehicles and technologies into their lives.” Ford already has a memorandum of understanding with several other automakers in Europe to create an ultra-fast charging network projected to be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. An initial target of about 400 sites in Europe is planned. By 2020, consumers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points. Ford also is piloting wireless technology on company EVs in the U.S. and Europe that make recharging as easy as pulling into a parking spot so drivers never forget to recharge. Wireless recharging extends electric-only range for short distance commuters, even during quick stops. FordPass® also can help consumers reserve charging times. Understanding customers Ford has been extensively studying how past and current EV owners use their vehicles. The company has sold more than 520,000 electrified vehicles in North America since 2005 and 560,000 globally. In studying 33,000 Ford EV owners that have made 58 million unique trips, Ford has learned: 88 percent of customers’ habitual daily driving distance is 60 miles or less. For plug-in hybrids, the average refueling distance is 680 miles, making gas station trips rare Customers want as much electric range as possible, but range anxiety drops over time as they become more comfortable and familiar with the technology 80 percent of Ford EV customers charge once a day; 60 percent during evenings Ford EV customers collectively have plugged in their vehicles a total of 9.4 million nights An overwhelming majority of Ford EV owners expect to replace their current EV with a new one, additional Ford research shows. Specifically: 92 percent of battery electric car customers say they will purchase another battery electric vehicle as their next purchase 87 percent of plug-in hybrid customers want another plug-in for their next vehicle
  10. Ford has finally confirmed that it will be moving small car production in the U.S. to Mexico in the next two to three years. This information isn't new as we knew about it a year ago thanks to a new contract with the UAW. We learned that in 2018, the Ranger would be taking up residence at the Michigan Assembly plant, home currently home to the Focus and C-Max. Why is Ford moving small car production to Mexico? It comes down to costs. With low gas prices, consumers are buying up crossovers and trucks at a rapid rate. This means small cars are sitting on dealer lots, costing automakers money. “Every global manufacturer has to determine how it can best create revenue and limit expenses. Small vehicles are the most price-sensitive, so any cost-savings that can be gained offer competitive advantages. Thus moving production to a lower-labor-cost country makes particular economic sense for small cars,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. It doesn't hurt that labor costs in Mexico are significantly less than those in the U.S. The Detroit News reports that workers earn the equivalent of $8 to $10 an hour, compared to the $29 an hour top-tier workers in the U.S earn. “I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom. It’s a reflection of the shrinking market share for compact cars,” said Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for research firm AutoPacific. But you have to wonder if Ford could have handled this better. Especially when Presidental candidate Donald Trump ripped into Ford for this decision, vowing to put a 35 percent tariff on Ford vehicles if elected. Source: The Detroit News
  11. Ford has finally confirmed that it will be moving small car production in the U.S. to Mexico in the next two to three years. This information isn't new as we knew about it a year ago thanks to a new contract with the UAW. We learned that in 2018, the Ranger would be taking up residence at the Michigan Assembly plant, home currently home to the Focus and C-Max. Why is Ford moving small car production to Mexico? It comes down to costs. With low gas prices, consumers are buying up crossovers and trucks at a rapid rate. This means small cars are sitting on dealer lots, costing automakers money. “Every global manufacturer has to determine how it can best create revenue and limit expenses. Small vehicles are the most price-sensitive, so any cost-savings that can be gained offer competitive advantages. Thus moving production to a lower-labor-cost country makes particular economic sense for small cars,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. It doesn't hurt that labor costs in Mexico are significantly less than those in the U.S. The Detroit News reports that workers earn the equivalent of $8 to $10 an hour, compared to the $29 an hour top-tier workers in the U.S earn. “I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom. It’s a reflection of the shrinking market share for compact cars,” said Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for research firm AutoPacific. But you have to wonder if Ford could have handled this better. Especially when Presidental candidate Donald Trump ripped into Ford for this decision, vowing to put a 35 percent tariff on Ford vehicles if elected. Source: The Detroit News View full article
  12. If there is one thing that we can pull from this latest round of contract negotiations between the Detroit three and the UAW is that amount of car production that will be heading to Mexico. According to a report from Automotive News, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobile will have moved production of most of their mass-market vehicles from the U.S. to Mexico. General Motors will be the only Detroit automaker who is keeping some sort of production of their compact and midsize cars. Why the shift to Mexico? It comes down to what vehicles make money for the three automakers. Currently, pickups and SUVs carry a much higher profit margin than cars. "You can afford to pay a little more when you're making trucks, but the structural change in the industry has been so huge that I was kind of surprised by that -- trucks here and cars in Mexico," said Dave Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research. But some point out this change in production could put the Detroit three in a situation they found themselves back in the early 2000's with sales of SUVs dropping due to the increase in gas prices. Models that will be moving to Mexico include the Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart, and Ford Fusion. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  13. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com May 29, 2013 According to a new report from analysis firm AutomotiveCompass, Chrysler is planning to move production of the next-generation Dodge Journey from Toluca, Mexico to Sterling Heights, MI. The switch over is expected to happen in 2016, the same time the next-generation Journey is expected. Why the change in plants? The next Journey is expected to use a variation of Fiat's CUSW platform. Moving it to plant where another vehicle using the CUSW platform, the Chrysler 200 in this case, makes a lot of sense. When asked by the Detroit Free Press, a Dodge spokesman declined to comment. Source: Detroit Free Press William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Click here to view the article
  14. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com May 29, 2013 According to a new report from analysis firm AutomotiveCompass, Chrysler is planning to move production of the next-generation Dodge Journey from Toluca, Mexico to Sterling Heights, MI. The switch over is expected to happen in 2016, the same time the next-generation Journey is expected. Why the change in plants? The next Journey is expected to use a variation of Fiat's CUSW platform. Moving it to plant where another vehicle using the CUSW platform, the Chrysler 200 in this case, makes a lot of sense. When asked by the Detroit Free Press, a Dodge spokesman declined to comment. Source: Detroit Free Press William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  15. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 25, 2013 Today, Volkswagen announced that the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf for the North and South American Market will be built at Volkswagen's plant in Puebla, Mexico. Production will begin sometime in the first quarter of 2014 and will help provide additional capacity for Volkswagen's Wolfsburg and Zwickau plants. The move is part of Volkswagen's plan to sell 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. by 2018. Volkswagen's North America chief Jonathan Browning said the move will help the German automaker make “further strides towards the goal of building more than 75 percent of the cars Volkswagen of America sells in the North American region.” The seventh-generation Golf arrives in the U.S. in the first half of 2014. Source: Volkswagen William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES PRODUCTION OF THE GOLF IN MEXICO - The next-generation Golf will be manufactured in Puebla, Mexico, for North and South American markets Puebla, Mexico / Herndon, VA - Volkswagen announced today that it will begin to produce the next-generation Golf at its Volkswagen de México manufacturing facility in Puebla, Mexico. Production of the seventh-generation Golf will commence at the company’s plant in Mexico in the first quarter of 2014. Localization has become increasingly important in automotive manufacturing as a way to safeguard against currency fluctuations and to be closer to the market in which the manufacturer sells. Golf models made at Volkswagen de México’s plant will be supplied to the North and South American markets. “The Puebla, Mexico plant offers an excellent economic basis for Volkswagen production operations and is a well-established automotive manufacturing facility with a record of efficiency and high quality,” said Hubert Waltl, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand with responsibility for Production. “With its existing infrastructure, competitive cost structures and free trade agreements, Mexico is the ideal location to produce the Golf for the American market.” The decision to produce the Golf in Mexico builds on Volkswagen’s strategy for the North American market. Investments of more than $5 billion are planned in the U.S. and Mexico in the next three years, thereby laying the foundation for further growth in the North American market. Key investments are the opening of new plants in Silao, Mexico, for the 1.8- and 2.0-liter turbocharged EA888 engines and the planned Audi production facility in San José Chiapa, Mexico. “Producing the Golf in Puebla, Mexico signals a continued commitment to the North American market and allows Volkswagen to make further strides towards the goal of building more than 75 percent of the cars Volkswagen of America sells in the NAFTA region,” said Jonathan Browning, President, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “For more than 40 years, Puebla has been manufacturing quality Volkswagens for the U.S. and markets around the world and we are thrilled that the next-generation Golf will be added to the production line.” The Volkswagen Golf, the company’s best-selling vehicle globally, was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012. This seventh-generation version of one of the world’s most popular cars offers more features, improved safety, and more performance than the outgoing vehicle and is actually lighter than its predecessor. The Golf’s unmistakeable state-of-the art styling is evolutionary and timeless, and provides clear lineage to previous Golfs. The new Golf design is more sophisticated and longer lived than any other compact in the world. The Golf is slated to go on sale in the United States in the first half of 2014.

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