Ford opens a new era at Flat Rock Assembly Plant

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 12, 2012

Since Mazda has now ceased to be its partner, Ford Motor Co. has renamed the AutoAlliance International factory that they once shared. The factory located in Flat Rock, Michigan, will now be known as the Flat Rock Assembly. Furthermore, Ford is planning to start the production of the 2013 Ford Fusion sedan at the plant.

Mazda has recently withdrawn from the factory and has transferred Mazda 6 production to Japan. This means that Ford may assume a bigger area of the plant space, offering additional capacity to produce the new Fusion. Ford also builds the 2013 Fusion at its plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. For the production of the 2013 Ford Fusion, the automaker will hire 1200 new workers and will invest $555 million in Flat Rock Assembly.

As part of the investment, Ford will open a new flexible body shop that could make numerous different vehicle types. It also aims to adopt a paint process that’s more environmentally friendly. Ford intends to create 2,900 jobs at the plant. The 2013 Ford Fusion is offered with hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions as well as three traditional gasoline powertrains. There were rumors that the 2013 Ford Fusion will have a fuel economy rating of up to 25/37 mpg (city/highway) as it is powered by a 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine.

Meanwhile, the Fusion hybrid is capable of returning 47/47 mpg. So far, Ford hasn’t confirmed these figures yet. From 1972 to 1981, Ford had been operating a casting center at Flat Rock, Michigan. When this was shut, the plant became idle for a few years. In 1987, Mazda bought and revamped the 2.9 million square-foot plant where it intended to build the MX-6.

In 1992, Ford purchased a 50% share in the facility. It had been renamed to AutoAlliance International. Later, Ford produced the Ford Probe and Mercury Cougar in the plant. Starting in 2005, Flat Rock functioned as the main assembly location for the Ford Mustang. It should be noted that Flat Rock Assembly will continue to roll out the Ford Mustang beside the recently added Fusion.

Topics: ford, plant, ford fusion

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