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Ford, FCA investing in engine, transmission plants

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/27/2016 Alisa Priddle

In the relentless pursuit of power and efficiency, both Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles today confirmed investment in engine and transmission plants to meet these sometimes dueling targets.

Ford is investing $1.4 billion and adding or retaining 500 workers at its Livonia Transmission Plant in Michigan to begin assembly of a new 10-speed automatic transmission in June. The transmission was developed in partnership with General Motors. For Ford, the 10-speed will debut on the new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor and further migrate into the pickup family and other future rear-drive vehicles. GM is debuting the 10-speed on the2017 Camaro ZL1. The two automakers also developed a 9-speed for front-wheel-drive vehicles.

Another $200 million will be spent at the Ohio Assembly Plant to add or retain 150 workers in Avon Lake who make Super Duty chassis cabs, part of an overall workforce of 1,650 that also make medium-duty trucks and E-Series cutaway vans and stripped chassis.

Ford has pledged to spend $9 billionin U.S. plants and add 8,500 jobs over the four-year term of the contract it reached with the UAW in 2015. That is on top of$12 billion spent over the last five years.

"We are proud that Ford employs more hourly workers and builds more vehicles in the United States than any other automaker," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas. "We are committed to manufacturing in the United States."

Fiat Chrysler is spending almost $75 million in its Trenton Engine Complex in Michigan to retool the north plant to make the next-generation four-cylinder engine on the assembly line that currently makes the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, retaining 235 jobs. Pentastar production will continue at Trenton South as well as Mack Avenue in Michigan and Saltillo South in Mexico.

Production of the new four-cylinder engine will start in the fall of 2017 and will have better fuel economy and fewer emissions but no further details are being released at this time.

2017 Ford F 150 Raptor puddle© Provided by MotorTrend 2017 Ford F 150 Raptor puddle

"This investment in our flexible production line at Trenton North will allow us to quickly ramp up North American production of this new fuel-efficient engine," said Brian Harlow, Vice President, manufacturing for FCA North America.

The Trenton Engine Complex employs more than 1,500 people.Since 2009, FCA US has spent more than $2 billion in Michigan and added nearly 15,600 new jobs, bringing total employment in the state to 35,314 including 21,621 hourly workers.


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