As Ford launches the 2021 model of their F-150 truck, the automaker also announced plans to add 300 jobs at a new plant in Michigan for the upcoming electric version of the vehicle.
"Overall, we are very, very committed to a strong manufacturing base in America and continue to create jobs literally every day," said Kumar Galhotra, president of the Americas and international markets group at Ford Motor Company.
The F-series pickup is the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. and the company says the electric version will be available in 2022. The newly-announced plant at the Rouge factory complex in Dearborn, Michigan, will be a $700 million investment to build the new vehicles.
Galhotra also said 300 jobs will be added with the new plant, and more broadly, the current union contract running through 2023 will have the carmaker adding nearly 8,000 jobs. A nearby assembly plant for the Ford Bronco is expected to add 2,000 jobs.
Aside from the all-electric F-150, the Ford executive underscored the company's commitment to EVs, citing the upcoming Mustang Mach-E SUV in 2020 and the Transit cargo van also expected to arrive in 2022 as examples. Galhotra also noted Ford's partnership with another EV company, Rivian, and other commitments to an electric future.
"We are working with Rivian to build a vehicle on the Rivian platform, but we're also working our own platforms, which is what the F-150 battery-electric vehicle will be based on," he said. "And of course we are partnering with Volkswagen in Europe to build passenger vehicles on their MEB platform."
Galhotra also commented on the current state of demand for Ford vehicles amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Late in March, early April, the demand went down substantially, both for retail and for commercial and fleet vehicles, but it has rebounded very nicely," he noted. "We continue to see gains week after week, so I would say the demand is pretty strong both for us as well as the total industry."