This is one of those news that actually reassure all of us that these recent months of speculating and guessing about the all new Ford Bronco and Ranger were not all gibberish. According to the reports, Ford Motor Company made an announcement on Tuesday that they are investing $1 billion in Michigan plants in order to prepare for the production of the new Ranger pickup truck and Bronco SUV.
Without any doubt, both you and we were very anxious to see the comeback of the two iconic vehicles such as the Bronco and the Ranger. If you recall the news from this year’s auto show in Detroit, then you know that the FMC announced that the Bronco will make its return in 2023, while the Ford Ranger will be back in North America a year earlier.
As far as these investment plans go, the company decided to give the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne a boost of $850 million to do the necessary upgrades that are needed for the Ranger and Bronco production. Rest of the sum, $150 million, will be invested in the Romeo Engine plant in order to expand capacity for engine components for several vehicles, including the new Ranger and Bronco. But this is not just about the two new models, with this Ford is trying to create or retain 130 jobs at the Romeo plant alone.
We bring you the statement from the company:
“In addition, Ford is investing $200 million for an advanced data center to support the company’s expansion to an auto and a mobility company. It is the second of two new data centers Ford is building in Michigan, as the company expects its data usage to increase 1.000% – driven by manufacturing and business needs and new mobility services, such as more connected, autonomous and electrified vehicles.”
Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas, also stated that “At Ford, we are investing aggressively in building on our strengths today – including trucks, vans, commercial vehicles, performance vehicles and SUVs – while at the same time growing our leadership in electrification, autonomy and mobility services.” He continued by adding “As America’s top producer of automobiles, we are proud to be going even further in our commitment to invest in manufacturing here at home.”
Ford was also kind enough to release some details for the future, and we bring it to you as well:
“New Ranger and Bronco at Michigan Assembly
The work to transform Michigan Assembly Plant begins next May. Following the same pattern used during vehicle changeover at Dearborn Truck Plant in 2014, Michigan Assembly will take just four weeks to remove and reinstall the tooling necessary to build the all-new Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco. The iconic Ranger and Bronco will further expand Ford’s truck and SUV leadership in North America – two of the company’s profit pillars.
During the last five years, sales of midsize pickups have grown nearly 50 percent. Many truck buyers want an affordable, functional, rugged and maneuverable pickup that’s Built Ford Tough. Ranger is built to meet their needs. Rugged utilities are the second fastest-growing SUV segment during the last five years, making it the time right for Bronco’s return – especially with its legendary 4×4 off-road capability.
Expanded capacity at Romeo Engine
Romeo Engine Plant currently produces engines for the Ford Super Duty, E-Series, Ford GT 350 and GT350R, along with components for F-Series, Mustang, Explorer and Edge. This investment adds capacity and tooling for components for an additional engine when the plant begins its transformation in early 2018. In North America alone, Ford has invested more than $3.8 billion dollars to develop more than 30 engines since 2009, when the company introduced its first EcoBoost engine. Since then, Ford has produced more than 8 million engines globally with the fuel-saving technology.
Data-center supports auto and mobility company expansion
As Ford expands to be both an automotive and mobility company, the company’s data storage requirements are expected to increase from 13 petabytes today to more than 200 petabytes in 2023. This is especially true as Ford grows its leadership in connectivity, autonomous vehicles, electrification and mobility services. The new data centers are helping Ford create a world-class infrastructure for storage, processing and integration of this data. The centers also will increase the ability of Ford’s Global Data Insights and Analytics team to transform the customer experience, enable new mobility products and services and help Ford operate more efficiently.”