Closing out 12 months that will become known as the Big Self-Driving Car Reset, Ford Motor Co. is putting its money where the future is announcing new investments and the promise of new jobs.
Following up on the buzz generated by its reveal of an all-electric Mustang SUV, this week Ford said it would be investing $1.45 billion in building new electric and autonomous vehicles--and new F-150s and SUVs (of course). The new pickups will include hybrid and electric versions, and there will be a battery assembly plant for the trucks, which will be plugged together in Dearborn. (Remember, Ford is also helping Rivian set up shop in the Detroit area.)
About $700 million will go into Dearborn, generating about 300 jobs, while about $750 million will go into a plant in Wayne, adding roughly 2,700 jobs over the next three years.
Conventional wisdom from analysts is that new vehicles sales are tapering off and many expect the electrification of the auto industry will reduce overall the number of manufacturing jobs. So any new, forward-looking investment has to been seen as a good thing.