Ford is celebrating the launch of its new HF35 front-wheel-drive hybrid transmissions, which will be produced at its Van Dyke transmission plant in Sterling Heights, MI. The new transmission for hybrid vehicles incorporates two electric motors and it will be the first of its kind produced in North America.
Ford and its suppliers are investing $220 million to transform the Van Dyke plant into a modern operation capable of producing Ford’s new hybrid transmission – the HF35 – as well as other fuel-efficient transmissions. The investments are part of a $632 million commitment Ford and its suppliers are making to increase capacity and flexibility at three North American transmission facilities by 2015.
“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 – actions that not only benefit our employees but our customers and the communities where we do business.”
The HF35 transmission is the first hybrid transmission to be designed and built by Ford. Previously, hybrid transmission production was handled by a supplier in Japan. By bringing the development work in-house, Ford reduced development costs 20 percent. The HF35 transmission will be used in five of Ford’s new electric vehicles, including the 2013 C-MAX hybrid and 2013 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid that arrives this fall.