Ford Motor Company is investing $350 million in the Livonia Transmission Plant. The move will help Ford expand their lineup of fuel-efficient powertrains while fortifying core automotive business, according to a press release from the automaker. In addition, Ford will create or retain 800 hourly jobs to support new transmission production.
“We remain committed to American manufacturing and investing in our people and facilities,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford President, The Americas.
Ford has invested $12 billion in its U.S. plants, creating nearly 28,000 American jobs in the last five years. Closer to home, Ford has, in the last four months, announced more than $2.25 billion in new investments for their Michigan operations. At the Livonia Transmission Plant, where Ford’s latest investment is focused, jobs will be added later this year, with the majority coming in 2019. Last year, the plant received $1.5 billion to support the new 10-speed transmission found in the 2017 F-150 Raptor and other F-150 models. As a result, 500 hourly jobs were created or retained.
“Even as the industry’s largest employer of hourly workers in the United States and biggest producer of American-made vehicles, we believe it is important to continue investing right here in our home market,” Hinrichs said.
According to Ford, the investments are supported by strong partnerships with the UAW, and federal, state, county, and local governments. Jimmy Settles, UAW Vice President, underscored the importance of such relationships and the impact on American manufacturing.
“Today’s investment at the Livonia Transmission Plant is further evidence of the benefits of collective bargaining and the ongoing commitment of UAW-Ford to lead the way in creating and maintaining automotive manufacturing jobs in America,” he said.
Currently, the Livonia Transmission plant employs about 1,800 people. The workers are responsible for building the six-speed and 10-speed transmissions used in everything from the Mustang and F-150, to Transit and Expedition.
“The addition of these 800 jobs will add job security for the plant’s hardworking men and women, and support for the surrounding community,” Settles added.
Innovation & Excellence
The Livonia investment supports Ford’s continued goal of powertrain innovation. Production of a forthcoming transmission for front-wheel drive vehicles is expected to deliver more performance and better fuel economy for customers. According to Ford, the transmission will be finely tuned for both enjoyable driving and measurable efficiency. Most applications will use a common microprocessor with more than 4 million lines of code controlling both the engine and transmission.
Weight reduction and the EcoBoost engine family are at the top of Ford’s list when it comes to overall innovation. So far, it has paid off. The F-150’s EcoBoost V6 lineup, with the military-grade aluminum body, now accounts for more than 75 percent of F-150 sales.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.