Ford Motor Company announced on Tuesday that it is spending $1.2 billion to expand its manufacturing capabilities in Michigan, providing a big boost to its sport utility vehicle (SUV) and truck production.
About $150 million will go toward creating or retaining 130 jobs at Ford’s Romeo Engine Plant, which will make parts for several vehicles, including the relaunched Ranger and Bronco. Those vehicles will be assembled at the Michigan Assembly Plant, where Ford is investing $850 million.
Ford also will spend $200 million to build an advanced data center at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant, where the company previously announced a $700 million investment to produce autonomous and electrified vehicles. The latter investment, first announced in January, will create 700 new jobs.
The automaker is spending a significant chunk of change on its American operations, no doubt. In its announcement, Ford made sure to point out that it builds more vehicles in the U.S. and employs more hourly U.S. workers than any other automaker — which caught the attention of this guy:
In fact, the Ford news immediately had insiders buzzing that it was the “very, very big, very important” announcement President Trump teased during a speech in Michigan earlier this month. That rumor, however, was quickly shot down by a Ford spokesperson on Twitter:
Indeed, major investments like this take months of planning, and all of this was likely in the works before Trump took office (and perhaps even before he was elected in November).
But whether Ford planned the move last week or last year, the automaker deserves credit for its efforts to Keep it Made in America. As Ford notes in its announcement, it has made a significant commitment to its U.S. operations over the past five years, investing $12 billion and creating nearly 28,000 U.S. jobs.
This work also has been done in partnership with the United Autoworkers union. UAW-Ford Vice President Jimmy Settles said in a statement that the investments “will lead to stronger job security for our members and continued support for the surrounding communities.”
“Thanks to collective bargaining, the hard-working men and women at each of these locations will now reap the full fruits of their labor,” he added. “We look forward to celebrating more product investment and job growth at each of our UAW represented facilities in the months and years to come.”