Ford Motor Company announced today it is building its next-generation North American Transit Connect small commercial and passenger van in Hermosillo, Sonora, Northern Mexico, starting in 2021.
“Producing this small van in Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico, assembly plant increases U.S. and Canadian vehicle content consistent with the proposed USMCA trade agreement, which supports U.S. manufacturing jobs and boosts sourcing of components with North American suppliers,” said the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker.
The company noted that by building the vehicle in its Mexican facility also helps the company improve the profitability of its North American Transit Connect lineup, “which is part of Ford’s industry-leading lineup of commercial vehicles and vans,” Ford added.
The official announcement seems to contradict previous reports that a small pickup would be produced at the Hermosillo plant, although it is possible that both models will eventually be manufactured on the same platform.
The measure is part of a larger plan to expand production capacity for the company’s next-generation battery electric vehicles at a second North American plant.
Tied to the company’s $11.1 billion investment in global electric vehicles, Ford is expanding its BEV manufacturing footprint to its Flat Rock Assembly plant in southeast Michigan.
The plant will become the production home to vehicles from the company’s next-generation battery electric flexible architecture. These vehicles will follow the all-electric performance SUV coming in 2020 from Ford’s Cuautitlan, Mexico, plant.
“We’ve taken a fresh look at the growth rates of electrified vehicles and know we need to protect additional production capacity given our accelerated plans for fully electric vehicles,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president, Global Operations. “This is good news for the future of southeast Michigan, delivering more good-paying manufacturing jobs.”
Through this new plan, Ford is targeting to invest more than US$850 million in the Flat Rock Assembly Plant through 2023, adding a second shift. The plant investment also includes funding to build the next-generation Mustang and is part of a US$900 million investment in Ford’s operations in southeastern Michigan.