Ford announces it will produce EV in Mexico and Michigan plant will be used for AV production

KwakMin-jung 기자 Posted : 2017-12-08 19:12 Updated : 2017-12-08 19:12
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[Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Careers / Facebook ]

Even before President Donald Trump assumed the presidency, he has been openly addressing companies including automakers like Ford to stop outsourcing their labor forces to begin creating jobs in the U.S. After much convincing, Ford Motor Company announced January this year that it would invest $700 million to build a plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, that will be designated to build electric vehicles. 

Ford Motor originally planned to invest $1.6 billion to build a plant in Mexico to mass manufacture EVs and hybrid models. However, it decided to divert the plan to partake in the local market job creation project that Trump administration proposed. 

The automakers have been competing intensely to gain the presence in the EV market after Tesla's huge success and its indestructible market dominance. However, there has been another emerging trend that automakers and tech giants like Google are trying to get the first foothold on. It is autonomous vehicle market. Ford decided to partake in this emerging market and announced it will invest more than initial proposal of $700 million in Michigan plant. The automaker is expecting to create a massive AV plant in Michigan and is going to invest in Mexico plant for manufacturing all of its EVs and hybrid models. 

Ford's vice president, Sherif Marakby, said in an interview with NY Times Thursday, that the company will invest $900 million in Flat Rock, Michigan plant and create 850 jobs. "We are very optimistic that we will grow the volume in the autonomous business", Marakby said. 

The automaker has a reason to be optimistic as it reported its November 2017 sales report. November sales increased 6.7% marking best sales in 16 years of its history, Ford Media said. The full report can be found here

Navigant Research 2017 Automated Driving System Leaderboard also showed a different picture than what people expected. According to Navigant research, automakers like Ford and GM are in the lead of emerging autonomous vehicles market, not Tesla or Uber as people perceive. According to the industry analysis, it is because the Uber and Google do not possess the manufacturing capacity of automakers that have plants to utilize and execute the designs. 

U.S. House of Representatives passed the self-driving car bill, the Self Drive Act, in September this year, expediting the autonomous vehicle market emergence. 

Ford also announced Thursday on its media page that it will collaborate with Alibaba Group to re-design the concept of ownership and services around vehicles. This strategic move will enhance the company's competitive market advantage. 

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