The car maker is shifting production of a future battery electric vehicle to Mexico to free up capacity at its Flat Rock, Michigan, plant to build the self-driving vehicles in 2021, according to spokesman Alan Hall. 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. Both the 2020 electric and the 2021 self-driving vehicles will draw on the next-generation Ford Focus for some of their underbody structure and components while using different propulsion systems.
Inside a Ford factory
The self-driving vehicle from Flat Rock will use a hybrid system with a gasoline engine and an electric motor. Ford says it intends to shift future production of an electric vehicle from Michigan to Mexico to free up production space at the automaker’s plant in Flat Rock, Michigan so it can build its first autonomous-drive vehicle. “We’re very excited about what we are doing,” said Jim Farley, president of global markets for Ford. Earlier this year, Ford announced a partnership with Domino’s Pizza to develop self-driving cars to deliver pizzas to customers. Farley says the automaker will announce more commercial partners in the months to come.