YPSILANTI, MI - Ford Motor Company is investing $135 million to design, engineer, and produce key components for the company's next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles, the company announced May 24.

Ford engineers in Dearborn will design the battery packs while engineers in Livonia will design electric-drive transaxles for the next-generation hybrids, based on Ford's global C- and CD-car platforms, which go into production in North America in 2012.

"Electrified vehicles are a key part of our plan to offer a full lineup of green vehicles, and we are building a center of excellence in the U.S., here in Michigan," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "[This] announcement is another important step in our larger strategy to launch a family of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and full electric vehicles around the world."

Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., will assemble the battery packs beginning in 2012, moving work to Michigan that is currently performed in Mexico by a supplier. Ford's Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., will build the electric drive transaxles beginning in 2012 from a supplier facility in Japan.

Ford also will internally design and engineer an electric, front-wheel-drive, continuously variable transaxle to supply its next-generation hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles in North America. Beginning in early 2012, Ford's Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., will produce the HF35 transaxle. Current model electric-drive transaxles are provided by a supplier in Japan.

Ford's global electrification strategy includes plans to launch five new full electric or hybrid vehicles in the compact, midsize and light commercial segments for the North American market by 2012 and European markets by 2013.

This lineup includes:

  • Transit Connect Electric light commercial vehicle in North America later this year and in Europe in 2011.
  • Focus Electric in North America in 2011 and in Europe in 2012.
  • Lincoln MKZ hybrid, available this fall in North America.
  • Next-generation hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle based on Ford's global C-car platform in North America in 2012.
  • C-MAX hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric model for Europe in 2013.


Originally posted on Automotive Fleet