Ford to invest $350 million in Michigan plant

ford-to-invest-350-million-in-michigan-plant

Ford (F) said today that it is investing $350 million to upgrade its Livonia transmission plant in MI as it readies to expand its fleet of fuel-efficient powertrains, Reuters reports.

Last year, the No. 2 US automaker announced it was investing a separate $1.4 billion in the Livonia transmission plant near Detroit.

Last year, it announced a $1.4 billion investment to make its new 10-speed transmission, which first rolled out on its F-150 and Raptor pickups.

“We remain committed to American manufacturing and investing in our people and facilities”, said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas, in a statement.

The company will create or retain 800 hourly jobs to support production of the new transmission. The company did not say how many additional jobs it will add.

Ford’s investments are supported by a strong partnership with the UAW, as well as with federal, state, county and local governments, the company said. The Livonia plant was to see $1.8 billion of investment for three new transmissions and gear machining in the contract that runs through September 2019.

The new transmission should contribute to increased fuel efficiency on Ford models in the future. The cuts represent 10 percent of Ford’s salaried workforce in North America and Asia, and while 1,400 is a far cry from 20,000, it’s still indicative of the economic predicament Ford is now facing.

Ford has invested $12-billion in its USA plants and created almost 28,000 U.S.jobs during the past five years.

Ford shares rose 1 percent in trading Friday. The plant now employs about 1,800 workers. It builds six-speed and 10-speed transmissions used in a number of vehicles including Mustang, F-150, Transit and Expedition. It will share software, design features, and manufacturing processes with the automaker’s 10-speed transmission, which is now offered on the Expedition and F-150.

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