Ford will spend $350 million upgrading its Livonia Transmission Plant to support production of a new gearbox for front-wheel-drive vehicles, the automaker announced today.
The new transmission should contribute to increased fuel efficiency on Ford models in the future. It will share software, design features, and manufacturing processes with the automaker’s 10-speed transmission, which is currently offered on the Expedition and F-150.
“The transmission will be finely tuned to blend fun driving and efficiency with Ford engines, including EcoBoost”
“The transmission will be finely tuned to blend fun driving and efficiency with Ford engines, including EcoBoost,” the automaker said in a statement today.
The investment will create or retain 800 hourly jobs. Most of the jobs will be filled by current Ford workers, reports The Detroit News.
Last year, the automaker announced it would spend $1.4 billion to produce the new 10-speed transmission at the Michigan plant. During the past five years, the company has invested $12 billion in plants around the U.S., creating almost 28,000 jobs.
“We remain committed to American manufacturing and investing in our people and facilities,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas, in a statement. “Even as the industry’s largest employer of hourly workers in the United States and biggest producer of American-made vehicles, we believe it is important to continue investing right here in our home market.”
The investment comes in sharp contrast to another announcement Ford made earlier this week. On Wednesday, Ford confirmed it would cut 1,400 salaried workers in North America and Asia. The reduction plan, which won’t affect hourly workers or production, is expected to be completed by the end of September.
Ford says it will start adding jobs related to the transmission investment late this year, although the majority will arrive next year and in 2019.