DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is adding 3,000 jobs at two factories in the Detroit area and investing $1.45 billion to build new pickup trucks, SUVs, and electric and autonomous vehicles.
The company said Tuesday that about $750 million will go the Michigan Assembly Plant in the Detroit suburb of Wayne, where 2,700 jobs will be added during the next three years. Another $700 million will be invested in the truck plant in Dearborn, where 300 new jobs will be added.
Hiring will begin next year.
The large investment comes as the U.S. new vehicle sales cycle has peaked and appears to be levelling off around 17 million vehicles per year. But Ford needs to make the investment in new products in an effort to increase its market share and prepare for a shift to new propulsion and autonomous vehicle technologies.
The Wayne plant investment will be used to build the new Ford Bronco SUV, as well as an all-new Ranger small pickup truck. Investment at the plant also result in a new centre to modify and support autonomous and other vehicles.
Ford says the Dearborn plant will get the next generation of the F-150, as well as hybrid and electric versions of the truck. The investment includes battery assembly for the electric trucks.
The F-150 is the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. and is Ford’s franchise, generating most of the company’s profits.
Workers at the Wayne plant will modify and finish Ford’s first autonomous vehicles starting in 2021, including the installation of self-driving technology and interiors built for autonomous travel, Ford said in a statement. The truck plant in Dearborn will build the new trucks as well as assemble battery cells into full packs for the hybrid and electric F-150s.
Michigan’s economic-development arm, the Michigan Strategic Fund, on Tuesday approved state tax incentives for Ford that are worth approximately $35 million over 15 years.Michigan was chosen for the expansions over competing sites in Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Canada, Mexico and countries outside North America, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
“This is great news for Michigan autoworkers, their families and our economy as a whole,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “I’m glad Ford recognizes that Michigan is home to some of the most innovative, hardworking people in the world, and has opened up opportunities for 3,000 new good-paying jobs in our state.”
In seeking approval of the tax breaks, state officials said the incentives would offset some of the increased costs associated with doing business in Michigan instead of competing locations.