In preparation for production of its first autonomous vehicles, Ford is expanding its production capacity by expanding a plant in Michigan and increasing hiring.
Ford plans to invest $900 million in its southeast Michigan footprint. This includes expanding the Flat Rock Assembly Plant through 2023 and completing Ford’s first autonomous vehicles (AV) at a new autonomous vehicle manufacturing center in southeast Michigan, according to the company.
The expansion is part of Ford’s $11.1 billion investment in global electric vehicles.
The AV facility will involve upfitting purpose-built, commercial-grade hybrid vehicles with “self-driving technology and unique interiors.”
“As we ramp up AV production, this plan allows us to adjust our investment spending to accommodate the pace of growth of this exciting new technology,” stated Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president, global operations. “This new plan combines our core strength in mass manufacturing with the agility and leanness we’ve shown with our modification centers for specialty manufacturing.”
Ford plans to add 900 jobs through 2023 as part of the expansion with the first autonomous vehicles being produced starting in 2021. Those vehicles are targeted for deployment in commercial services to move people and goods.