The assembly plants that build some of Ford's best-selling and most profitable vehicles will become a beehive of electric vehicles and hybrid activity over the next four years. At the same time, new versions of the sporting Mustang are under pressure for the facility south of Detroit that builds Ford's pony car.
These are just three of the promises we found in the new four-year contract that Ford workers recently voted for. The analysis in this column is based on reports from my colleagues Phoebe Wall Howard, Jamie L. Lareau and Eric D. Lawrence on detailed investment plans in Ford's new contract with UAW.
Ford will build a new version of the F-150 Raptor on its Rouge assembly plant. (Photo: Ford)
The contract was supposed to be ratified on Friday and will expire in September 2023.
Among the headlines from the contract:
- Electric and hybrid versions of the new F-150 pickup
- new F-150 Raptor
- Hybrids and other updates to the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition large SUVs
- Manufacture of batteries and electric drives at multiple plants
- A new version of the Ranger mid-size pickup  Ford's growing emphasis on electric Vehicles become even more apparent when you look at investing in the drivetrain. The contract includes several new programs for batteries, electric transmissions and motors.
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Here's a look at some of what's coming at Ford plants around the country:
Dearborn truck plant
Usually called the Rouge- the facility, because it neighbors the Rouge River, expects Dearborn to be the launching site for a brand new F-150, with production likely to begin in 2020.
The lineup will include an all-electric F-150, probably in 2021. hybrid is expected to go on sale in 2020. The facility will also build batteries for electric pickup.
Rouge will also build a new version of the Raptor off-road sports truck. The new F-150 will continue to use the aluminum body that the current model pioneered.
Total investment: $ 700 million
This facility just south of Detroit will build a new version of the Mustang, including several derivatives, probably including special models such as Bullitt and Shelby Cobra, in addition to Mustang compartments and convertibles.
Flat Rock will have room to add models since the production of the luxury sedan Lincoln, which it is currently building, is expected to end during the current contract.
We do not know about Ford's decision to use the Mustang name for the upcoming Mach-E electric SUV opens the door for other body styles by using the Mustang name. Mustang Mach-E is not expected to be built in Flat Rock.
Investing to build a new Mustang at Ford's Flat Rock assembly plant is part of the company's contract with UAW. (Photo: Eric Perry)
Total investment: $ 250 million
Ford's highest production assembly plant will begin to build an electric version of the Transit commercial van it is already building. It's full-size Transit, not the smaller Transit Connect that is often used by small businesses.
KC will also build the next generation of the F-150, but not its hybrid or electric versions.
Total investment: $ 400 million
This massive plant east of Louisville will build new versions of the F Series Super Duty pickups, workhorses that make huge profits for Ford.
Apropos Big, Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition Kentucky builds – currently featured in commercials that pull a two-horse trailer and carry eight people – are in line for hybrid versions and other important new upgrades.
Total investment: $ 1 billion
Located on Michigan Avenue in Wayne, just a few miles west of Ford Company headquarters, this facility is the investment manager of Ford's US plant.
Production of the long-awaited Bronco SUV begs ins in early 2020. Details are scarce, but the contract says Wayne will put together "swinggates" for Bronco. That means that, like the Jeep Wrangler, Ford's SUV will have a rear door hinged on the side rather than opening itself as a pickup or up as a minivan.