Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. has announced its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri will build the all-new E-Transit van, part of a more than $3.2 billion investment in Ford’s North American manufacturing facilities to produce electric vehicles for commercial and retail customers.
The E-Transit, a zero-emissions version of the Transit commercial van, is expected to arrive in late 2021 and will be unveiled Thursday. Ford is investing an additional $100 million in the Kansas City plant and adding about 150 full-time permanent jobs to build the van.
Ford is investing more than $11.5 billion globally in electrification through 2022. The electric van investment in Kansas City is in addition to the $300 million Ford invested for the launch this year of the all-new F-150 at the plant. The plant employs about 7,500 workers.
The E-Transit will join the all-electric F-150 announced in September and the all-electric Mustang Mach-E, which begins arriving in dealer showrooms next month. The new entries support Ford’s plant to electrify its iconic and most popular vehicles, including its commercial vehicles. The F-150 will be assembled at the new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn and is slated to arrive in mid 2022.
“We’re taking our most iconic vehicles and using fully electric technology to deliver even more performance, productivity, and capability for customers,” says Kumar Galhotra, president, Americas and international markets group. “We are building out the North American manufacturing footprint to support this growth. This is just the first chapter with more new electric vehicles and more investment to come.”
Ford is also investing about $150 million in the Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights to build e-motors and e-transaxles beginning in 2021. This will retain 225 jobs at the plant.
“Ford’s strategy is different – we are delivering affordable, capable electric vehicles in the heart of the retail and commercial market rather than six-figure status vehicles,” Galhotra says. “With the stunning Mustang Mach-E SUV, an all-electric F-150, and the new E-Transit, our first wave of EVs in North America will introduce a whole new generation to EVs.”
Given the strong early interest in the all-electric F-150, Ford is increasing production plans by 50 percent. The company will add 200 new jobs in addition to the 300 jobs previously announced for the vehicle.
Ford spends more than $5 billion annually on engineering in the U.S., which includes the development of the electric Transit, F-150, and Mustang Mach-E.
“We are investing heavily in our vehicle programs as well as building out our manufacturing capabilities,” says Hau Thai-Tang, chief product platform and operations officer. “This will allow us to scale quickly as customer interest in these new products grows.”
The company will also invest $1.35 billion to transform its Oakville Assembly Complex in Ontario starting in 2024 to include next-generation battery-electric vehicles.
Ford is also planning to produce an additional electrified vehicle at its plant in Cuautitlán, Mexico, where the Mustang Mach-E is produced. The new vehicle will share a similar electrified platform as the Mustang Mach-E.
“Our electric vehicle business is a dynamic source of growth,” says John Savona, vice president of North American manufacturing. “We’re setting ourselves up for profitable business now and in the future.”