Going to Kansas City with Ford for a new generation of EV van

This entry kind of has to be a teaser, because I heard today from the Ford Motor Company that’s it’s planning to do a formal introduction of its new E-Transit van early tomorrow morning EST, with most of the new vehicle’s details embargoed until the actual rollout event, in keeping with common industry practice. This is a very big deal in Dearborn, given the fact that the E-Transit, the new all-electric F-150 pickup, and the all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover are very much being prepared for introduction, with the Mach-E set to reach showrooms by next month. But a peripheral, and equally big, development is the ongoing upgrade in Ford’s massive manufacturing infrastructure to accommodate this new generation of EVs. Ford is putting $100 million into its historic assembly plant in Kansas City, Missouri, to support manufacturing of E-Transit, which is scheduled to be offered for sale in late 2021.

That investment in Kansas City will also include 150 new jobs directly supporting the E-Transit. Ford is sinking more than $3.2 billion in manufacturing capacity to build EVs, part of Dearborn’s overall investment of $11.5 billion in new vehicle design, technologies and EV assembly. Part of that huge effort is the earmarking of $150 million for the Van Dyke Transmission facility in Sterling Heights, Michigan, where e-motors and e-transaxles for EVs, including the F-150, will be produced. Ford has also budgeted $700 million, and an additional 200 jobs, at the sprawling River Rouge complex in Dearborn where F-150s, including the EV, are assembled. Further EV upgrades are seen at Ford assembly plants in Oakville, Ontario, and Cuautitlan, Mexico. Oakville will be the designated plant for battery-dependent EVs; the Mustang Mach-E will be produced at the Mexico site.

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