Ford will invest $4.5 billion in new electric vehicles, including a new SUV with a reported 300-mile range, a hybrid F-150, and a hybrid Mustang, all of which will arrive by the end of the decade, the automaker announced Tuesday.
Ford CEO Mark Fields announced the new cars and hybrid strategy at a meeting at the company's Flat Rock assembly, where the company currently builds Mustangs and Lincoln Continental models.
Fields said the manufacturing facility would receive $700 million in upgrades, and that Ford would cancel plans to relocate small-car manufacturing to a single facility in Mexico, which would have included the Focus and C-Max and cost the automaker $1.6 billion. Ford announced that it would shift production of the Focus to its Hermosillo plant in Mexico, which currently builds the Fusion.
In 2015, Ford told the UAW that it would move production of some small cars from the U.S. to Mexico during negotiations. Tuesday's announcement may signal the end for the C-Max, a slow-selling hybrid, and a shaky future for the Focus, whose sales have waned in past years.
The Flat Rock plant will build the all-electric SUV, which will have a reported range of 300 miles, and a fully autonomous vehicle that can be used for ride-hailing or ride-sharing services, Ford says.
“Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years," Fields said in a statement.
Last year, Fields told NPR that the automaker was planning a Ford F-150 Hybrid model as part of the automaker's plans to offer a hybrid powertrain in the best-selling pickup. It's unclear if the announcement will place on hold the automaker's publicized plans for a diesel-powered F-150 in 2019, or if the two will be offered together.
The company only said the Ford Mustang Hybrid, which should arrive in 2020, would deliver V-8 power from a battery-engine combo.
The automaker said it would deliver 13 new electrified vehicles within 5 years, detailing seven of those models Tuesday. Included in the announcement were the unnamed electric SUV, hybrid Mustang, hybrid F-150, a Europe-only Transit Custom electric van, a ride-sharing autonomous vehicle, and two new police-rated vehicles that will be built in Chicago.