Ford said Friday that it will invest $500 million to expand its Flat Rock, Mich., factory to double the amount of the capacity for silicon ingots used in self-driving and electric vehicle production. The company will also add 10,000 new U.S. jobs in 2018 to advance its alliance with Volvo, maintain vehicle production in Chicago and expand facility production of electric vehicles. The automaker said its new investments are part of a “commitment to build and source 50 percent of components for the electrified vehicles we will offer in North America” by 2025.
The move follows recent announcements by competitors General Motors and Ford that they plan to ramp up their investments in the semiconductor industry.
“We know how fast the industry is changing, and we have very high expectations for global supply and demand conditions to continue to improve and come back to healthy levels,” said Steve Armstrong, Ford’s group vice president for procurement and supply chain. “Our investment in Michigan assures that our best manufacturing talent has an opportunity to provide the best products to our customers.”
The $500 million investment for Flat Rock would bring the factory’s factory total to more than $1 billion in investment. At Flat Rock, Ford has delivered 123 million wire axles (key components for self-driving and electric vehicles) and supports 275,000 parts of electric vehicles.