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Ford to invest $3.7 bn, boosting legacy Midwestern plants

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Ford announced new investments in Midwestern plants, including Dearborn, where it is building the F-150 Lightning pickup truck./AFP
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Jun 03, 2022 - 07:31 AM

NEW YORK — Ford on Thursday announced fresh multi-billion-dollar capital projects in Midwestern factories near its Detroit home, as the auto giant spreads new investments throughout the United States.

The 119-year-old carmaker plans to spend $3.7 billion to add manufacturing capacity for a mix of electric vehicles (EVs) and conventional gasoline-powered autos in the states of Michigan, Ohio and Missouri, much of it at existing plants that have been in the company’s portfolio for years.

The move follows an announcement last September of an $11.4-billion push with SK Innovation, a South Korean battery company, to build greenfield car production and battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Major car companies are investing billions of dollars in a race to bring EVs to market, develop driver-assistance programs and outfit their products with the latest and greatest digital equipment.

“We’re investing in American jobs and our employees to build a new generation of incredible Ford vehicles,” said Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley.

Thursday’s announcement was made jointly with the United Auto Workers, which agreed to the new projects outside of standard union contract negotiations.

Ford will add more than 6,200 new manufacturing jobs and convert around 3,000 temporary UAW employees to permanent status.

“This announcement is a testament to UAW members who contribute their skill, experience, and knowledge to the success of Ford Motor Company,” said UAW President Ray Curry.

“We are always advocating to employers and legislators that union jobs are worth the investment. Ford stepped up to the plate by adding these jobs and converting 3000 UAW members to permanent, full-time status with benefits.”

About $2 billion of the investment will go to projects in Michigan, including boosting production of the new F-150 Lightning electric truck and the production of new pickup and coupe vehicles.

The company will spend $1.5 billion in Ohio on assembly of new EV models and other projects, and $95 million in Missouri to add a shift at a plant that makes commercial vans and will add an electric van.

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