Ford prepping to build all-new BEV and conventionally powered Focus in Michigan

Discussion in 'BEV or Battery Electric Vehicle' started by xcel, May 6, 2009.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] Production to take place at a plant formerly producing Expedition and Navigator SUVs.

    [xfloat=left][/xfloat]Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – May 6, 2009

    2011 Ford Focus BEV – CGI based design and projected to achieve at least a 100-mile AER.

    Wayne, MI. -- Ford announced today that it is investing $550 million to transform its Wayne, Michigan Assembly Plant into a lean, green and flexible manufacturing complex that will build Ford’s next-generation Focus global small car along with a new battery-electric version of the Focus for the North American market.

    The plant is one of three North American light truck plants Ford is retooling to build fuel-efficient global small cars in the coming years. The new Focus will begin rolling off the line next year and the battery-electric version of the Focus – Ford’s first all-electric passenger car – debuts in 2011.

    As part of the retooling, Ford is consolidating its operations at the Wayne Assembly Plant. When new car production launches in 2010, approximately 3,200 employees will be building the new Focus at the Michigan Assembly Plant. Additionally, Ford and United Auto Workers are developing modern new operating practices to ensure the highest quality and even greater efficiency.

    “The transformation of Michigan Assembly Plant embodies the larger transformation under way at Ford,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. “This is about investing in modern, efficient and flexible American manufacturing. It is about fuel economy and the electrification of vehicles. It is about leveraging our expertise and vehicle platforms around the world and partnering with the UAW to deliver best-in-class global small cars. It is about skilled and motivated teams working together in new ways to create the future of automobile manufacturing in the United States.”

    The reinvention of Michigan Assembly, once one of the world’s most profitable auto plants during the SUV boom of the late 1990s, is rooted in the fundamental strategic shift by Ford to leverage its global production assets to bring six world-class small cars to the American market by the end of 2012. To produce the vehicles, Ford is converting three truck and SUV plants to car plants – Michigan Assembly, Cuautitlan Assembly in Mexico and Louisville (Ky.) Assembly, which will be converted to produce small vehicles from Ford’s global Focus platform beginning in 2011.

    The new Focus is being developed in Europe off the all-new global C-car platform. Over time, the new platform will be the basis for more than 2 million units annually around the world, including Focus and other derivatives, allowing Ford to leverage economies of scale to improve investment efficiency.

    The zero-emission Focus BEV, which is being developed in partnership with Magna International, features a high-voltage electric motor powered by a high capacity Lithium Ion battery pack and charged by plugging in to a 110-volt or 220-volt outlet. The vehicle is one part of a larger strategy Ford announced in January to develop electric vehicles for North America quickly and affordably by leveraging its global platform capability.

    In addition to the Focus battery electric vehicle, Ford is collaborating with Smith Electric to sell a Transit Connect battery electric commercial vehicle for North America in 2010. Ford’s product plans also include a next-generation hybrid vehicle in 2012 and a plug-in hybrid vehicle in 2012.

    “We’re changing from a company focused mainly on trucks and SUVs to a company with a balanced product lineup that includes even more high-quality, fuel-efficient small cars, hybrids and all-electric vehicles,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “As customers move to more fuel-efficient vehicles, we’ll be there with more of the products they really want.”

    Investing in America

    The $550 million investment in Michigan Assembly includes more than $430 million in manufacturing investment at the site, as well as $120 million for launch and engineering costs. In addition, Ford will be making significant investment in supplier tooling to support the plant.

    The state of Michigan, Wayne County and the city of Wayne contributed more than $160 million in tax credits and grants to support Ford’s expansion opportunities. Key elements include:
    • Tax incentives based on job retention at the site.
    • A Brownfield tax incentive for economic rehabilitation of the site.
    • Tax incentives to support integration of advanced batteries into new product development programs.
    • Local property tax incentives for new investments at the site.
    The Michigan Assembly Plant will be designated as the state’s first automotive technology anchor site. This designation will support Ford’s efforts by providing additional tax incentives to locate advanced technology suppliers in Michigan, related to future automotive technology applications.

    “Ford is investing in both the future of the American auto industry and the state of Michigan by bringing together world-class products, advanced technology applications and strong partnerships with the UAW to build the next generation of vehicles that will help end our nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” Granholm said. “In these challenging economic times, we applaud and appreciate Ford's commitment to Michigan and to our talented workforce.”

    Plant History

    1957 - Large rise in Mercury Station Wagon demand dictate the need for the all-new Michigan “Station Wagon” Plant.
    1964 - First F-100 P/U Truck rolls off the newly named Michigan “Truck” Plant floor.
    1965 - 100,000th Ford F-100 P/U truck rolls off its Assembly Line.
    1966 - Bronco Boom – For the next 30-years and multiple plant expansions, Bronco’s roll out by the trainload full.
    1997 - Expedition and Navigator produced for 11 more years.
    2010 - 2011 – Revitalization and renewal as Ford preps plant for the all-new Focus BEV, fuel efficient conventional variant and more yet to be announced.

    Plant Transformation

    At the heart of the plant’s manufacturing transformation is a flexible operation, which uses reprogrammable tooling in the body shop, standardized equipment in the paint shop and a common-build sequence in final assembly, enabling production of multiple models in the same plant.

    Aiding in the implementation of flexible manufacturing is Ford’s industry-leading virtual manufacturing technology. In the virtual world, engineers and plant operators evaluate tooling and product interfaces before costly installations are made on the plant floor. This method of collaboration improves launch quality and enables speed of execution.

    In a flexible body shop, at least 80 percent of the robotic equipment can be programmed to weld various sized vehicles. This “non-product specific” equipment gives the body shop its flexibility and provides more efficient use of the facility.

    The plant also will employ an efficient, synchronous material flow, where the material will move in kits to each operator, providing employees with the tools they need in the sequence they will need them. The plant features an integrated stamping facility, which allows the stamping and welding of all large sheet-metal parts on-site, ensuring maximum quality and minimum overhead.

    New UAW Work Rules

    Along with the physical transformation at Michigan Assembly Plant, the UAW and Ford are working on a framework of new and class-leading operating practices that will enable the plant to operate at a high level of productivity while producing best-in-class quality products in a safe work environment.

    As part of this framework, Ford and the UAW are committed to establishing a strong, progressive culture at Michigan Assembly Plant that is based on teamwork, joint problem solving and continuous improvement.

    2011 Ford Focus BEV detail

  2. jsmithy

    jsmithy Well-Known Member

    This is very exciting. The BEV Focus sounds awesome.
  3. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I am so ready for that BEV!!! Here's hoping that's my next vehicle. :D
  4. Earthling

    Earthling Trying to be kind to Mother Earth

    “This is about investing in modern, efficient and flexible American manufacturing. It is about fuel economy and the electrification of vehicles. It is about leveraging our expertise and vehicle platforms around the world and partnering with the UAW to deliver best-in-class global small cars. It is about skilled and motivated teams working together in new ways to create the future of automobile manufacturing in the United States.”

    Now that's music to my ears.

    About 20 years late, but at least they have seen the light, and I wish Ford well.

  5. ArizonaChris

    ArizonaChris Well-Known Member

    So I guess that means the end of Navigator and Expedition? Such gas sucking monsters!
  6. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    This is great. Now to make sure that Ford actually picks up some of the lost demand for SUVs, they need to start building the Focus wagon again, which offered some of the most efficient space packaging around and (except for the FEH) beat everything else in cargo space for the gallon.

    This plant first started out building wagons. It would be nice to see it return to its roots. Of course a wagon BEV might be too much to hope for, but sure would be awesome for a lot of soccer moms.
  7. Radio_tec

    Radio_tec Tell AAA, Saving gas saves America!

    "Ford and strategic alliance partner Magna International will produce new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that don't use a drop of fuel."

    I particularly love that part about not using a drop of fuel. I noticed the battery pack is a 23 kwh pack. I would be nice to know what the kwh / mile consumption is so that proper mileage could be calculated. If I had to guess though it's range would certainly be in the ball park of 60 miles per charge based on the 40 mile range of the Chevy Volt's 16 kwh battery pack assuming both cars are of similar weight, low rolling resistance tires, cd and use 50% of the SOC of their respective batteries.
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Radio tec:

    ___100 miles AER.

    ___Good Luck

  9. Radio_tec

    Radio_tec Tell AAA, Saving gas saves America!


    Thanks for the info. I was going to ask you how you got the mileage figure but I decided to do a google search and got gm-volt creator Lyle Dennis's website. He went into greater detail about the battery pack, "Overall the pack has 23 kWh of stored energy, and uses prismatic lithium-ion cells. Ford would not say whose cells were inside." So now we know what type of batteries they will use. The cost of the batteries alone are around $20,000.00 So the price of the car may be in line with the Volt but we'll have to wait and see.
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Radio tec:

    ___I can only say "it is rumored ;)" that the cels are JCI/Saft's with MAGNA doing the bullwork of design and integration into the upcoming Focus.

    ___Prismatic is the std. construction of the full-hybrid and future PHEV/BEV industry other than Honda which still used std. consumer form factor based cel's in their mild-hybrids.

    ___Good Luck

  11. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    The only thing I'm going to say about that is there are indications that the 16KWh pack in the Volt currently costs around $9K. We all expect that price to drop a bit by the time the vehicle is introduced.

    Using that figure, you'll find that a 23KWh pack should cost under $13K... not $20K. Throw in all the other bits and pieces required and I really don't see why Ford couldn't realistically sell the vehicle for a profit (compared to materials and construction, anyway) at around $25K. If it does show up in that price range (say up to around $27K?), I'll be doing whatever I can to get my hands on one. :)
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    HI Sean:

    ___Yet another rumor although I cannot actually verify or deny the following statement :D

    ___< $25K.

    ___Good Luck

  13. cuchulain

    cuchulain He who posts articles


    Certainly great news for BEVs, should be able to choose from Nissan/Renault, Ford and Mitsubishi.

    Good Luck
  14. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Oh.... SWEET!!!!!!!!!

  15. So, will this Focus BEV be available in adequate supply here in Michigan or will this be another limited area releases like California only? :flag:
  16. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    I can't say about the release area, but I can tell you some things. Magna bought a Ford Focus, converted it, and then took it to Ford to show they can make it a BEV. Ford said "We'll buy your batteries," and the deal was sealed.

    Direct from Ford reps (via twitter): Coming out in 2011, 100 mile AER, and costs less than the Fusion Hybrid ($27,270).
  17. voodoo22

    voodoo22 Cheaper than the bus

    This is exciting news. I'm feeling more confident all the time that our next car will be much more pleasurable to own

    It might sound crazy, but the prospect of owning an electric car could be what finally pushes us into owning a house in the future, as I doubt any affordable apartments around here will have charging abilities in their parking.
  18. corollasport09

    corollasport09 Well-Known Member

    I think my next one will be Prius IV when it comes out :)
  19. aaronl

    aaronl Alternative transportation advocate

    The BEV Focus sounds very exciting. I could see myself buying one when it launches if I'm driving enough miles to make it more than just a statement ...and if I have a way of recharging it.

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