Ford is expanding its production capacity for battery electric vehicles at a second North American plant.

Tied to the company's US$11.1bn investment in global electric vehicles, Ford is increasing its BEV manufacturing footprint to its Flat Rock Assembly plant in South East Michigan.

The vehicles will follow the all-electric performance SUV coming in 2020 from Ford's Cuautitlan, Mexico, plant.

"We've taken a fresh look at the growth rates of electrified vehicles and know we need to protect additional production capacity given our accelerated plans for fully electric vehicles," said Ford Global Operations president, Joe Hinrichs.

Through the new plan, Ford is targeting to invest more than US$850m in the Flat Rock Assembly Plant to 2023, adding a second shift. The plant investment also includes funding to build the next-generation Mustang and is part of a US$900m investment in Ford's operations in South East Michigan.

The company also announced it will complete Ford's first autonomous vehicles at a new AV manufacturing centre in South East Michigan, up-fitting purpose-built, commercial-grade hybrid vehicles with self-driving technology. Production of Ford's first autonomous vehicles will begin in 2021 for deployment in commercial services to move people and goods.

Ford also announced it is building its next-generation North American Transit Connect small commercial and passenger van in Mexico, starting in 2021.

Producing the small van in Ford's Hermosillo, Mexico, assembly plant increases US and Canadian vehicle content consistent with the proposed USMCA trade agreement.

It also helps the company improve the profitability of its North American Transit Connect line-up, which is part of Ford's line-up of commercial vehicles and vans.

This builds on Ford's recent announcements to exit the heavy truck business in Brazil, restructure its operations in Europe and improve results in China.

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