Issue: Nov 2010


Ford to Invest Additional $850 Million in Michigan to Engineer, Build Fuel-Efficient New Vehicles



by John Larkin

Ford announced plans to invest an additional $850 million in Michigan between 2011 and 2013 as part of the company's commitment to competitively grow its engineering and manufacturing employee base, upgrade its facilities in the state and further improve its vehicle fuel economy.

"Fuel economy and technology are consumers' biggest priorities - and we have made them Ford's as well," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "We are pleased to work with state and local government leaders to find new ways to work together, invest in our people as well as Ford facilities, further improve our competitiveness and secure jobs in Michigan."

Ford's investment will generate up to 1,200 new full-time positions in manufacturing and engineering operations in Michigan by 2013. The company expects approximately 900 jobs will be hourly positions in its Michigan manufacturing facilities and the remaining 300 will be salaried positions within its engineering and manufacturing operations.

Ford is making the Michigan investment commitment after working with officials on a new Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) package that replaces several existing state incentives and makes Michigan a more competitive place to invest in new fuel-saving technologies and facilities. The Michigan Economic Development Council considers the package this week.

Once approved, Ford will allocate its $850 million investment across a variety of plants including Van Dyke Transmission, Sterling Axle, Livonia Transmission and Dearborn Truck Plant.

For instance, a significant portion of the company's additional investment will benefit engineering and production of Ford's new six-speed transmissions, which are planned for many future Ford vehicles and built at the Livonia Transmission Plant and Van Dyke Transmission Plant. By 2013, 100 percent of Ford vehicles will incorporate a six-speed transmission as part of the company's commitment to leadership in fuel economy performance in all vehicle segments.

"We applaud the State of Michigan's leadership in finding innovative solutions aimed at making both the state and Ford more competitive," Fields said. "Promoting investments in technologies, facilities and our workforce ultimately will help revitalize manufacturing in Michigan and help Ford compete with the best in the business world-wide."

This most recent investment commitment builds on the $950 million the company previously announced in Michigan to transform the Michigan Assembly Plant from a large SUV factory to a state-of-the-art car plant, which will build the new Focus arriving in showrooms early next year, as well as the company's battery electric Focus and next generation hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, all planned for production at the Wayne, Mich., facility by 2012.

"We've worked hard to keep Michigan the center of the automobile industry, and Ford's investment is further evidence that our efforts are succeeding," said Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with Ford as the American auto industry builds the green vehicles of the future."

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 159,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, production of which has been announced by the company to be ending in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

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