Ford Motor Company announced plans to invest $135 million in two Detroit-area component plants as part of what the carmaker was calling a “center of excellence” for building electric cars in Michigan.
Ford’s Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., will assemble the battery packs beginning in 2012, moving work to Michigan that is currently performed in Mexico by a supplier. Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., will build the electric drive transaxles for the next generation hybrids beginning in 2012, transaxles currently built in Japan.
The company is adding a combined 170 jobs at the Rawsonville and Van Dyke facilities to build these key components.
Ford intends to introduce five new electric or hybrid-electric vehicles — mostly small cars — in North America by 2012 and Europe by 2013.
Ford will launch two zero-emission full battery-electric vehicles including the Transit Connect Electric light commercial vehicle in 2011 followed by the Ford Focus Electric in 2012. Three other vehicles – two next-generation petrol hybrid-electric vehicles and a plug-in hybrid – will be introduced in 2013.