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At the Detroit Auto Show in January, Ford announced that it would bring production of battery packs for its hybrid and plug-in vehicles in-house by 2012, in time for the launch of its next-generation models. At the time, Ford would only say that the production facility would be somewhere in southeast Michigan without giving specifics.

According to The Detroit News, it now appears that the packs will be produced at the site of the defunct Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti, MI. The facility had previously manufactured a variety of components, including alternators, fuel pumps, injectors and wiper motors. Rawsonville had been included in the Visteon spin-off in 2000, but was later re-absorbed into Ford as part of Automotive Components Holdings when Visteon was struggling to avoid bankruptcy. Ford tried and failed to sell the facility. and it has been closed for several years. In recent weeks demolition work has been ongoing at the site, perhaps in preparation for new construction. (Wrong plant, the Rawsonville plant is a couple of miles away from another ACH plant being demolished.)

Ford's battery packs are currently assembled by Delphi using cells from Sanyo. the automaker will continue to source cells from suppliers while building the packs and battery management systems itself.

When Ford made its original announcement in January, it said the combination of battery and hybrid vehicle production could create 1,000 new jobs in the area. That would certainly be welcome news to the region, which has been particularly hard-hit by the current recession. A Ford spokesperson declined to comment on the plant location, except to say that an announcement would be forthcoming.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good news for Michigan. They have been loosing a lot of jobs lately.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just another example of Ford taking the initiative to maintain profitablility by designing and manufacturing it's own components. Same can be said for the 2011 Super Duty diesels, no longer coming from Navistar/International.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As far as I'm concerned, even though I'm a Ford guy, I'm an American first. So, no matter who brings jobs to and keeps them here in the sates, I'm all for it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with you, but you are making it sound like it's cross-town rival isn't doing that. GM has set up the same thing - a battery assembly plant right in MI just a few weeks ago.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is merely assembling them. If they were manufacturing cells in the US, they'd mention it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think it's great they're assembling the batteries here, it's better than nothing. But still, most of the actual value in the pack (where the profit lies) is in China, Japan or Korea, because that's where the cells come from.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Semantics... the point is that Ford is still bringing business in-house and employing people here in the US instead of sending it overseas and letting cheap labor put it together and someone else profiting from it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good for that area to get a factory back.
      • 5 Years Ago

      Southeast Michigan ?

      If Ford pays more than $13 an hr. (plus benefits) to the workers at this plant, then they are overpaying for simple assembly line work.

      I just went to Zillow.com to look at the home prices in Ypsilanti / Rawsonville.

      You can buy a simple 1,000 sq. ft. starter home for about $60,000.

      Monthly payment is approximately $320 a month.
      • 5 Years Ago
      can you say zoooom?

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