Ford, the second largest US automaker, recently confirmed the rumors surrounding the upcoming production of Lincoln’s newly reborn Continental flagship, with the full-size sedan settled at the Flat Rock plant in Michigan.
The limousine was reintroduced to the public carrying the iconic Continental name this year through a spectacular concept during the New York International Auto Show and John Fleming, head of global manufacturing, confirmed the upcoming model’s production location during a recent event in Dearborn. The decision also comes at a significant time since lately the factory decisions have become assets in the UAW union negotiations this summer for a new four-year collective labor agreement. The Flat Rock assembly facility is charged with manufacturing another iconic name – the Ford Mustang, as well as the Ford Fusion large sedan. It also has the needed capacity and flexibility to produce a new vehicle and the Continental’s architecture is expected to carry the one seen in the Fusion, albeit with stretched dimensions. “The Flat Rock Assembly Plant will now produce three important vehicles for Ford,” said Akshay Anand, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “With many products shifting production outside the United States, it’s good to see Ford committed to keeping its flagship vehicle stateside.”
The UAW bargaining negotiations between the Detroit Three started this week with the ceremonial handshakes between the union and General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, respectively. Ford’s event is scheduled for July 23. Ford would also have to discuss the fate of the Michigan Assembly plant where it decided to move away the production of the Ford Focus, C-Max and C-Max Energi to a more affordable venue, most likely Mexico.