Ford Wants to Rattle Rivals with Big Investments

Ford unveils big plans as it looks to transform ‘for the next era of American manufacturing.’

And now comes the seventh generation…

Ford Motor Co.  (F) – Get Ford Motor Company Report said on June 2 that it plans to build the next generation of the Mustang Coupe, the iconic vehicle that hit the road in 1964 and kept on going.

The latest version of the Pony Car is one of several announcements that Ford made on June 2, as the automaker looks to hire more people, expanded its facilities and introduce a new electric commercial vehicle.

‘Transforming Our Company’

Ford didn’t go into detail about the new EV, other than to say that production will begin mid-decade at an existing Ohio plant, but the news is sure to catch the attention of Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report and other automakers looking to get a piece of that action.

Ford said it will invest $3.7 billion in new facilities in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri, most of it focused on EVs, while creating an estimated 74,000 new direct and indirect new jobs.

The company will adapt plants to build the new commercial electric vehicle and new versions of the gas-powered Mustang and Ranger.

The company and the United Auto Workers announced plans to add more than 6,200 new U.S. manufacturing jobs in the Midwest, convert nearly 3,000 temporary UAW-Ford workers to permanent full-timers and provide all hourly employees healthcare benefits on the first day of employment. 

“Transforming our company for the next era of American manufacturing requires new ways of working, and together with UAW leadership, we are leading the way and moving fast to make improvements to benefits for our hourly employees and working conditions for our factory team,” Ford President and CEO Jim Farley said in a statement.

The spending forms part of Ford’s previously-announced $50 billion in new EV investments, spread over the next five years, that were unveiled in March. 

The company said earlier this year that it would reorganize its operations into two separate but complementary divisions, one for its EVs and one for its internal combustion engine cars (ICE) or gasoline cars.

The units — Ford Model e for EVs and Ford Blue for the traditional cars — will remain part of the parent. 

The investments are intended to support Ford’s plan to produce two million electric vehicles a year by the end of 2026 through Ford Model e while strengthening the company’s Ford Blue portfolio of iconic gas-powered vehicles.

Light It Up

Ford said it is adding jobs to boost production of the F-150 Lightning in Michigan, as well as Transit and all-electric E-Transit vans in Missouri.

Separately, Ford said battery electric vehicle sales totaled 6,254 for May, up 222% over last year, while growing almost 4 times faster than the overall U.S. electric vehicle segment in May.

The Mustang Mach-E posted a new monthly sales record, Ford said, with sales up 166% over last year. E-Transit sales had its best monthly results since its launch earlier this year with 874 vans sold, while F-150 Lightning records its first customer sales at the end of May.

On the job front, Ford said it plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years to continuously improve the workplace experience for manufacturing employees.

Following discussions with the UAW, Ford is taking steps to identify and address the top wants and needs of employees, which could include better access to healthy food, new EV chargers in plant parking lots, better lighting in parking lots and more. 

Ford said the most recent announcement is in addition to the roughly 11,000 new jobs the company announced in September with its partner SK On as part of a joint $11.4 billion investment to create BlueOval City in Stanton, Tenn., and BlueOval SK Battery Park in Glendale, Ky. 

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