Ford to invest $1.45 billion in 2 metro Detroit plants, add 3,000 jobs – Detroit Free Press

Posted: December 20, 2019 at 6:51 pm

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Staff and wire reports Published 12:16 p.m. ET Dec. 17, 2019 | Updated 5:13 p.m. ET Dec. 17, 2019

Ford Motor Company's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne in October 2013.(Photo: Kathleen Galligan, Detroit Free Press)

Ford Motor Co. is adding 3,000 jobs at two factories in metro Detroit and investing $1.45 billion to build new pickups, SUVs, and electric and autonomous vehicles, bringing into clearer focus the$6 billion in investments promised in its new contract with the UAW.

The promised investment at the two plantscomes with more than $35 million in tax incentives, most of which is related toa 10-year income tax capture valued atup to $26 million. The company's commitment, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.,is to create ormaintain at least 3,000 jobs with an average annual wage equal to or greater than$61,047, which is theregional average.

The company said Tuesday that about $750 million will go the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, where 2,700 jobs will be added during the next three years.

Another $700 million will be invested in the truck plant in Dearborn,where 300 new jobs will be added.

Hiring will begin next year.

In its new deal with the UAW, negotiated this fall, the company has committed to adding or retaining 8,500 jobswith investments at 19 U.S. facilities.

Joe Hinrichs, Fords president of Automotive, touted the local Michigan investment while highlighting the bets the company is making on its present and future.

At Ford, we are investing aggressively in building on our strengths today including trucks and SUVs while at the same time expanding our leadership into electric and autonomous vehicles, Hinrichs said in a news release.

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The investment comes as the U.S. new vehicle sales cycle has peaked and appears to be leveling off at around 17 million vehicles per year.

Ford's third-quarter 2019 sales were down 4.9%, from 609,934 vehicles to 580,251, compared to the same quarter a year ago, with drops in car sales but increases in trucks and the Lincoln brand. But this comes asFord has been shifting its production away from cars to focus on more profitable trucks and SUVs.

Ford needs to invest in new products in an effort to increase market share and prepare for a shift to new propulsion and autonomous vehicle technologies.

The Wayne plant investment will used to build the new Ford Bronco SUV, as well as a new Ranger pickup. Investment at the plant also will result in a new center to modify and support autonomous and other vehicles.

The plant is expected to get a total investment of $1.1 billion over the four-year life of the contract, which would include addingstampingsfor anew Mustang.

Ford says the Dearborn plant will get the next generation of the F-150, as well as hybrid and electric versions of the truck. The investment includes battery assembly for the electric trucks.

Plant workers work are at work on the brand new 2015 F-150 at the Dearborn Truck Plant Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014.(Photo: Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press)

The F-150 is the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. and is Fords franchise, generating most of the companys profits.

Workers at the Wayne plant will modify and finish Fords first autonomous vehicles starting in 2021, including the installation of self-driving technology and interiors built for autonomous travel, Ford said in a statement. The truck plant in Dearborn will build the new trucks as well as assemble battery cells into full packs for the hybrid and electric F-150s.

This article is from Free Press reporter Eric D. Lawrence and the Associated Press.

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Ford to invest $1.45 billion in 2 metro Detroit plants, add 3,000 jobs - Detroit Free Press

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December 20th, 2019 at 6:51 pm

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