While Ford’s new four-year labor contract with the UAW was not quite the dramatic ordeal that took place with General Motors earlier this year, that does not mean that it isn’t newsworthy in its own right. As part of that deal, Ford has detailed an investment plan for that four year time period, breaking it down plant by plant, as first reported by The Detroit Free Press. Along with that investment plan has come some interesting news about the future of the automaker’s large SUV products like the Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator.
We understand that the proliferation of electric and hybrid drivetrains will be a risky direction automakers will continue to take, and that is no different for Ford. With the new Mustang Mach-E recently making quite the media splash, Ford has officially re-entered the electrified arena. Based on what we know at this time, we can expect the two large SUVs to incorporate a hybrid powertrain into their lineups with the next generation models. Part of this assumption comes from the fact that Ford is investing $1 billion into the Kentucky Truck plant, which builds the F-Series Super Duty trucks alongside the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.
The only way that upgrades to the truck facility could cost this much money is if Ford is really changing things up for those models. While it is likely safe to assume that we won’t have a hybrid F-350 soon, it makes a lot of business sense for Ford to offer a larger electrified SUV than the smaller Mach-E. The Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator are both huge profit makers for the folks in Dearborn, and keeping those models with the times is vital to ensuring their success.
Ford has also announced that they will be investing heavily in some of their Metro-Detroit facilities to further tackle electric vehicle powertrain development and production. This includes facilities like Livonia, which will make transmissions for EVs, with batteries for hybrid vehicles being produced at the Rawsonville facility.