Ford has announced a sizable investment plan of $1.45 billion, evenly split between the Wayne and Dearborn plants in Michigan.
Over the next three years, the Blue Oval will invest $750 million and add 2,700 new jobs at the Wayne facility to build the Bronco, an all-new Ranger midsize pickup, and a modification center to support autonomous vehicles.
Ford’s Autonomous Vehicle, Bronco and Ranger modification center in Wayne will roll out the automaker’s first self-driving vehicles in 2021. The facility will be where the autonomous technology and unique purpose-built interiors are installed.
The department will coordinate with the company’s existing AV research locations in Dearborn and Detroit. In addition to the autonomous vehicles, the center will also handle Bronco and Ranger modifications for customers.
Besides Wayne, Ford will put $700 million into the Dearborn factory and add 300 jobs to support production of the all-new Ford F-150, F-150 hybrid and the all-electric F-150. The carmaker will also create a new operation in Dearborn where battery cells will be assembled into a battery pack for the hybrid and electric F-150 pickups.
Ford says these investments will help strengthen its leadership in trucks and SUVs, and support the company’s expansion into electric and autonomous vehicles.
“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,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president, Automotive. “As America’s No. 1 producer of automobiles, we are proud of our commitment to invest in manufacturing here in Michigan,” the executive added.
The all-new F-150 and F-150 hybrid will debut in 2020, while the fully electric F-150 will arrive soon after. The Bronco off-roader will be unveiled in spring 2020.