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The Future of Ford: Powering the Motor City

Being the Motor City is a great accomplishment that Detroit and its citizens should always be proud of, but in this day and age the motor is moving out and electric power is moving in. China, the world’s largest auto market, continues to see rises in their production and sales of electric vehicles every year, and automakers around the world are implementing plans to boost their research, production and sales of electrified vehicles. In Detroit, FCA and GM both offer a variety of electrified cars, from plug-in versions of existing cars and hybrids to EVs such as the Chevy Volt. The second largest of Detroit’s Big Three, Ford, has unfortunately been very lacking in the realm of electric vehicles. Looking forward, however, Ford plans to reinvigorate their electrification programs and intends on focusing on electric power with their upcoming products and future production. With Ford pledging to take electrification of their vehicles seriously, could we see the start of a transition from the Motor City to the Electric City? This article looks at Ford’s plans to electrify its lineup in the coming years and what that could mean for Detroit and the local auto industry.

Currently, Ford offers an unimpressive electric lineup compared to its competitors. With only a few hybrids and the lackluster Fusion Energi and Focus Electric, Ford currently isn’t a name that comes to mind when thinking of a nice new electric vehicle. New CEO Jim Hackett plans on repositioning Ford as an electric powerhouse, and the Detroit company intends to spend $11 billion in the realm of electric vehicles over the next five years. Ford plans to release 24 hybrid and 16 fully-electric vehicles by 2022- but don’t expect many cars. These announcements come after announcements earlier this year from Ford that showed Ford’s plans to move away from passenger cars and focus on crossovers, SUVs and trucks. In fact, Ford currently plans on reallocating $7 billion from their car production towards research and production of eight new crossover and SUV models to be released by 2020.

Ford doesn’t plan on just pumping out electric family cars in the coming years. On top of focusing on vehicle electrification and large vehicles in general, Ford claims they want to focus more on providing premium and luxury crossovers and SUVs that focus on comfort and performance. This mirrors a lot of European automakers, such as Audi, BMW and the likes, that offer crossovers and SUVs large enough for the family but with the premium quality and performance you would expect from a sports car. Despite kicking quality up, however, Ford does still seem intent on keeping their vehicles affordable, specifically with the vehicle that will launch this electrification project: project Mach 1.

Mach 1

Last year Ford announced a project, codenamed Mach 1, for a fully electric vehicle that would seamlessly blend luxury with electric performance. Recently, the first teaser image and basic information on the project was released, and we have some reasons to be excited. The new unnamed vehicle will be a crossover heavily influenced by the Mustang design. With the rear end of the Mustang and a raked roof common with luxury crossovers from Europe, the SUV promises a sleek, flashy sports design. Current speculations say the vehicle will have a range of about 300 miles per charge, which is fairly average for current EVs. It is expected to have all-wheel drive and a dedicated electric drivetrain and body designed to accommodate large batteries. The SUV, set to impress buyers with its sleek performance and style, is expected to be priced competitively with other “family” EVs, so price tag estimates are currently in the $40,000 range.

An Electric Industry

Ford isn’t the only automaker setting their sights on vehicle electrification. By 2020 we can expect to see an array of electrified vehicles from automakers such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo. As stated before, the electric market is booming in China, and new regulations state that by 2020, 12% of manufacturer’s sales must be electric vehicles of some sort. Detroit has always been a powerhouse for the auto industry and the competition between the Big Three tends to set trends in the global industry. Could Ford’s move towards electrification kickstart electric vehicle research and production among the Big Three and automakers around the world? Only the future can tell, but as of now it seems like Detroit is going to see a lot of electric cars in the coming years.

Holbrook Auto Parts has proudly been a cornerstone of the auto industry in Detroit for over 75 years. We are excited to see where these changes in the industry will take the city of Detroit, and we are eager to learn more about electric vehicles and how to keep them on the road longer. If you need help getting your vehicle back to perfect health, stop by one of Holbrook Auto’s locations and we’ll get you back On the Move!

Images from and Mach 1 image property of Ford Motor Company.

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