The transmission of a gasoline/electric hybrid vehicle is one of their most vital components and Ford recently created an industry “first”. To be found in models such as the Fusion, C-MAX and Lincoln MKZ Hybrids, the HF35 will be the first front wheel drive hybrid transmission to be built-in America. Located in the heart of Sterling Heights, Michigan, the Van Dyke plant will be responsible for the gearbox which will cause an evolution of the entire facility so that each unit does exactly what it’s suppose to: work.
To get ready for the HF35, Ford put $220 million into the Van Dyke plant. The gas/electric box won’t be the only transmission built there as the facility will serve as a North American hub for fuel-efficient components. In order to make sure each part gets installed properly, an extra 225 workers will be added to bring the plant’s total workforce up to 1,350. Using two electric motors, the HF35 is the first front drive hybrid transmission to be built by Ford as the previous units were outsourced by Japan.
“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. The Michigan facility will continue to produce the conventional, 6F six speed automatic.
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