Car Industry

Ford ploughs $1.2B into three US plants ahead of Ranger, Bronco production

The investments confer other benefits, too, but who isn't excited for the new Ranger and Bronco?

Ford

Fans of the forthcoming Ford Bronco and Ranger will be pleased to hear about Ford's latest US manufacturing investment.

The automaker has announced that it will invest $1.2 billion in three Michigan manufacturing facilities, in order to both bolster its truck and SUV lineup, as well as further its push into autonomous cars.

$850 million will go to its Michigan Assembly Plant, which will be retooled in order to make room for the new Ranger midsize pickup and Bronco SUV. The Ranger will enter production in late 2018, while Bronco assembly won't begin until 2020. Waiting is the hardest part, folks.

A worker assembles the Ford Mustang at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan.

Ford

$150 million will be sent to the Romeo Engine Plant. It will produce engine parts for several different vehicles, including both the Ranger and Bronco. This investment should help create or retain about 130 jobs.

The final $200 million will be used to build a second data center in Michigan, since the automaker expects to use 1,000 percent more data than it currently does. This new data center will be located at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, where Ford makes the Mustang and the Lincoln Continental. This plant is already the recipient of a $700 million investment to help the company prepare for producing electric and self-driving cars.

Ford is on an investment tear. Not only has it announced $1.9 billion worth of investments in the last three months, it's spent some $12 billion on US manufacturing over the last five years, which helped create some 28,000 jobs.

In the past year, the automaker has also dropped $1 billion on an AI startup, helped invest in lidar manufacturer Velodyne, acquired a commuter shuttle startup and invested in an EV fast-charging corridor in Europe. Busy year.