The 2013 C-MAX and C-MAX Energi will contain the HF-35 transmission (Photo : Ford Motor Company)
Ford displayed its commitment to environmental and economic sustainability this week by announcing the refurbishment of the Van Dyke Transmission Plant of Sterling Heights, Michigan. The plant will have a new assembly line added, meaning the addition of 225 jobs and the ability to produce, among its transmissions, the HF35, the only front-wheel -drive hybrid transmission to be made in North America.
Like Us on Facebook
The HF35 will be used in five electrified vehicles that are to be introduced this year. In the fall, buyers will find it in the C-MAX Hybrid, the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, and the Fusion Hybrid. By the end of the year, two more models will arrive with the transmission: the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid and the Lincoln MKZ hybrid.
The transmission incorporates two electric motors and is the first of its kind built by Ford. Previously, the company has received its hybrid motors from Japan.
The plant will now employ a total of 1,350 employees. The $200-million investment Ford has made in it represents Ford's willingness to follow through on a $632-million commitment made by the company to increase capacity at three North American transmission facilities by 2015. Ford has also committed to adding 12,000 US hourly jobs by 2015.
"Our investments in Van Dyke Transmission make it our most advanced, efficient transmission plant in the world," Jim Tetreault, vice president of North America Manufacturing, said in a statement. "This demonstrates our commitment to bringing jobs and technology back into Ford and North America - actions that not only benefit our employees but our customers and the communities where we do business."