Ford Invests $1.4 Billion Into Michigan Plant for 10-Speed Transmissions
Automaker will also upgrade its Ohio Assembly Plant
Ford will invest $1.4 billion at its Livonia Transmission Plant in Michigan to build new 10-speed transmissions. The gearboxes will first be used on upcoming F-150 models, including the 2017 Raptor which goes on sale this fall, and it's possible it could be used on other F-150 models after that to improve fuel efficiency.
Production of the 10-speed transmission will commence in June, Ford said in a statement today. The new gearbox was jointly developed with General Motors, which will introduce its version in the 2017 Camaro ZL1.
Ford's investment will create or save 500 hourly jobs at the Livonia plant. The plant currently builds six-speed transmissions used on the Mustang, Transit, Expedition, and current F-150. The automaker also announced it will spend $200 million to upgrade its Ohio Assembly Plant for building the Super Duty chassis cab. The money will create or retain 150 hourly jobs.
In the past five years, Ford has invested $12 billion in U.S. plants and created nearly 28,000 U.S. jobs, the automaker says. Over the next four years, Ford has committed to a total of 8,500 hourly jobs in the U.S. across Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, and Ohio. However, critics have been outspoken over reports that Ford is expanding production in Mexico.
Meanwhile, we could see big changes on upcoming F-150 trucks. Ford will make start-stop a standard feature on all 2017 F-150 Ecoboost models. The automaker could also introduce a hybrid F-150 in the next several years, if this prototype is any indication.