Ford began production at its new Van Dyke Transmission Plant, being the first auto maker to produce front-wheel-drive hybrid transmissions in North America.
Ford and its suppliers spend $220 million to make Van Dyke Transmission facility a modern operation where the company plans to produce its new hybrid transmission HF35 and other fuel-efficient transmissions. This is only part of the investment plan of $632 million made by Ford and its suppliers in an attempt to boost flexibility and capacity in North America at three transmission facilities in the following three years.
Besides the new assembly line, the Van Dyke Transmission facility will also add 225 new jobs, from the total of 12,000 jobs Ford plans to add by 2015. Along with the launch of the new hybrid transmission, the plant also added 130 employees, scheduled to start work by the end of the month. Currently the Van Dyke plant has 1,350 workers.
“Our investments in Van Dyke Transmission make it our most advanced, efficient transmission plant in the world,” said Jim Tetreault, vice president of North America Manufacturing. “This demonstrates our commitment to bringing jobs and technology back into Ford and North America.”