Ford to test new self-driving vehicle technology in 2018

07 Декабря, 2017, 23:06 | Author: Leticia Walters

Ford Motor plans to build a new electric vehicle in Mexico rather than in MI, choosing instead to build a future self-driving vehicle at the Detroit-area plant.

The electric vehicle, whose more-advanced battery system will enable a driving range of more than 300 miles, will go into production in 2020 at Ford's Cuatitlan plant, which suppliers say will also build a new hybrid crossover vehicle around the same time. Ford has since confirmed it has adjusted production plans to move the new crossover to Mexico.

As of past year, Ford had meant to build the autonomous vehicle at its planned small-car plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, but that facility was canceled in January.

The Flat Rock, Mich. factory had been designated for production of an unidentified electric vehicle. Plus, if Ford had kept the EV in Flat Rock, that would have reportedly interfered with plans to expand the plant for autonomous vehicle production.

At the Flat Rock plant, Ford is boosting investment to US$900 million from US$700 million and adding 850 jobs.

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Ford believes this move allows it to do both, by transforming Flat Rock into an "AV center of excellence" while moving an expected low-margin electric vehicle to a country with lower labor costs.

The pivot comes several months after Ford made a big splash by announcing plans to cancel a new factory in Mexico in a move widely viewed as a concession to President Trump, who has criticized automakers over foreign manufacturing.

"You're starting to see the foundation of Ford's bet on A-V's (autonomous-drive vehicles)".

In a blog post, Jim Farley, president of global markets, said Ford also would test new business models that involve its self-driving vehicles, including the movement of people and goods.

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