Quality Magazine

Ford to Invest $550 Million in Michigan Plant

May 6, 2009

WAYNE, MI-Ford Motor Co. has announced that it will be investing $550 million to transform its Michigan Assembly Plant into a lean, green and flexible manufacturing complex that will build Ford's next-generation Focus global small car along with a new battery-electric version of the Focus for the North American market.

The plant, formerly the production site for Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigators SUVs, is one of three North American light truck plants Ford is retooling to build fuel-efficient global small cars in the coming years. The new Focus will begin rolling off the line next year and the battery-electric version of the Focus-Ford's first all-electric passenger car-debuts in 2011.

As part of the retooling, Ford will consolidate its operations from Wayne Assembly Plant. When production launches in 2010, approximately 3,200 employees will be building the new Focus at Michigan Assembly Plant. At the plant, Ford and United Auto Workers (UAW) are developing modern new operating practices to ensure high quality and even greater efficiency.

"The transformation of Michigan Assembly Plant embodies the larger transformation under way at Ford," says Ford President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally. "This is about investing in modern, efficient and flexible American manufacturing. It is about fuel economy and the electrification of vehicles. It is about leveraging our expertise and vehicle platforms around the world and partnering with the UAW to deliver best-in-class global small cars. It is about skilled and motivated teams working together in new ways to create the future of automobile manufacturing in the United States."

The $550 million investment in Michigan Assembly includes more than $430 million in manufacturing investment at the site, as well as $120 million for launch and engineering costs. In addition, Ford will be making significant investment in supplier tooling to support the plant.

The state of Michigan, Wayne County and the city of Wayne contributed more than $160 million in tax credits and grants to support Ford's expansion opportunities. Key elements include:
  • Tax incentives based on job retention at the site;
  • A Brownfield tax incentive for economic rehabilitation of the site;
  • Tax incentives to support integration of advanced batteries into new product development programs; and
  • Local property tax incentives for new investments at the site.