Ford Unveils Factory to Build Electric F-150 Truck

by birtanpublished on September 23, 2020

Mr guljoltra the ford f-150 i think it's not exaggerated to say it may be the most important vehicle in north america it's been the most popular one for i think 33 years in a row there's a major redo here of the vehicle itself but also how you're manufacturing

It tell us about what you're doing at the rouge plan so uh we're launching the 2021 model year uh here today uh it's the all-new f-150

As you said the f-150 has been the best-selling vehicle for for 43 years that's for multiple reasons it's we really know our customers very very well we know them at a visceral level

We know them when we know their pain points we know what jobs they need to do and our truck team is very passionate about those customers so we design into the product all the attributes necessary to meet

Those needs and we make all of our f-series trucks here in in the u.s because we are firmly committed to a very strong manufacturing base in the united states so today we're on

We're doing actually a couple of things here today we're launching the 2021 model year and we're also announcing a very significant uh investment at in the rouge complex of about 700 million dollars

That'll produce the all-electric f-150 that'll come to market in about two years in 20 middle of 2022. so tell us about the manufacturing process at the rouge plan and for those

Of people who might not know roach goes all the way back to henry ford the model a was produced there i believe but you're going to take it into an entirely different level of technology

Explain how this will be different from those assembly lines we saw back in the 1920s so that's correct not only are we making a major investment for f-150 battery electric we're building a

Separate complex a separate building right on this complex where we will build the battery electric vehicle and it would be let's think of it as a very new version

Of the assembly line so the assembly lines uh traditionally are conveyors on which the vehicles sit and they move along and workers assemble the vehicles as they're moving

Along in this case we're going to have uh autonomous guided vehicles that the the the f-150 will sit on that'll go from station to station it gives us a lot more flexibility

In terms of how we process the line in terms of how we process each workstation and that's just the part of the assembly line and then the tools that are used to assemble the vehicle are much smarter

The tools can detect uh if there is a fault in the in the process while they're assembling the vehicle so it's a very unique combination of smart tools and a smart assembly line

That gives us a lot of flexibility and makes the entire process much more efficient and higher quality much more efficient much higher quality what does it do to the workforce do you not need as many workers as a practical

Matter in this new way of assembling oh no we we're still creating lots and lots of jobs in this country so this particular uh uh small plant that we're building next on this large complex

For better electrics will add 300 jobs uh to to the local economy but that's just those are just the jobs in this particular complex the ripple effect that our industry and our company has is quite enormous

Uh for every one uh worker that builds for example uh an f-150 it comes into one of our f-150 plants there are probably 14 to 15 other jobs that are created as a result for example

The overall f-150 or f-series i should say we build in four different assembly plants uh over uh nearly 20 000 workers but if you look at the ripple effect that has

Uh that's nearly half a million jobs throughout the country so we're very committed to the manufacturing base and and creating jobs every day for example our present contract with our union uaw

Goes from 2019 to 2023 during that period we expect to create approximately 8 500 jobs between that and during that contract so very committed still to the uh to the american

Manufacturing rates you mentioned the all-electric f-150 that i think doesn't come out until 2022 but you're building a factory there to actually produce that vehicle explain that vehicle to us and

How is it going to stack up against some of the competition that already is moving along we have the tesla cyber truck for example that's going to be sometime late in 2021 yeah so there's obviously various sub

Segments to this large segment called pickups the there are competitors who are looking at more of a uh i would say a lifestyle lifestyle truck uh but there's a very large segment

For work trucks uh we did a lot of research we know our customers very well our customers are looking for a vehicle that they can count on to do specific jobs uh and and that's what we're focused on they're very focused on total

Cost of ownership for example so an f-150 battery electric total cost of ownership will probably be in the neighborhood of you know 40 to 50 percent lower than a traditional pickup truck so

Cost of ownership is important the availability of power is important with an all-electric f-150 you can have up to 10 kilowatts of power available you can power a whole job site you can power all your tools

Uh we're going to have a what what some people are calling a front uh because once you remove the engine and the transmission from the front there's a substantial room in the front uh where

It's literally a trunk or a front in front of the vehicle where these our customers can carry their tools the valuable equipment that they want to walk down so there are several

Key features in the truck that are very important to this segment yes it is different than more of a lifestyle segment but very important to our customers and a very substantial segment

It's an important distinction because the ford f-150 really has been particularly for the trade as it were for the construction workers the electricians things like that more than just lifestyle as you say as

You look forward in the future as far as you can when do you think there's a crossover point between the traditional ford f-150 that you have there behind you and the all-electric

So the the transition to from the internal combustion trucks to the all-electric will take some time but it is beginning uh it is beginning right now that's why

We're making uh making this investment and the kind of unique things that the electric powertrain will bring to this customer base uh is going to be be very important to

Their businesses because it is lower cost of ownership it is more versatile and it is a lot of fun to drive it will take some time though it is not going to be an instantaneous

Switch we will invest and we will see how how the marketplace reacts and as the volume grows we'll grow our capacities with that but it'll take a few years

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