Ford Spending $1.2 Billion to Retool Michigan Plants, Build Data Centers
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Ford Spending $1.2 Billion to Retool Michigan Plants, Build Data Centers

Ford is investing $1.2 billion in three Michigan manufacturing facilities to support the company’s shift to “an auto and mobility company,” the automaker said.

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Ford is investing $1.2 billion in three Michigan manufacturing facilities to support the company’s shift to “an auto and mobility company,” the automaker said.

Ford is investing $850 million to retool the Michigan Assembly Plant for the new Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco. Employees at the plant will begin building the Ranger at the end of 2018 and the Bronco in 2020, according to Ford.

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The automaker said it also plans to create or retain 130 jobs and invest $150 million to expand capacity for engine components for several vehicles, including the Ranger and Bronco, at the Romeo Engine Plant in Michigan.

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 percent – driven by manufacturing and business needs and new mobility services, such as more connected, autonomous and electrified vehicles.

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The second new data center will be located at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant, where the company is investing $700 million and adding 700 direct new jobs – announced in January – to create a factory capable of producing high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles.

“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,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas.

In the past three months, Ford has announced $1.9 billion in new investments in Michigan. During the past five years, Ford has invested $12 billion in its U.S. plants and created a total of nearly 28,000 U.S. jobs, according to the automaker.

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Data Centers Support Connected, Autonomous Vehicles

The new data centers will help Ford “create a world-class infrastructure for storage, processing and integration of this data.” The automaker expects its data storage requirements to increase from 13 petabytes today to more than 200 petabytes in 2021.

“This is especially true as Ford grows its leadership in connectivity, autonomous vehicles, electrification and mobility services,” the automaker said in a news release.

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,” the automaker said.

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