June will be a big month for Ford. It’s when the automaker will start building its new 10-speed transmission, developed jointly with General Motors.
To prep for production, Ford announced Tuesday it will spend $1.4 billion to upgrade its Livonia Transmission Plant and hire 500 workers. It’s where Ford currently builds the six-speed used in the Mustang, F-150, Transit and Expedition.
The new rear-wheel drive gear box is tapped for the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor and other versions of the F-150 pickup.
Meanwhile, General Motors is hard at work on its own plans for the jointly developed 10-speed automatic. It plans to offer the new gear box in eight models by 2018. Product chief Mark Reuss says the first one to get it will be the 2017 Camaro ZL1 this fall. GM recently invested $343 million to retool its plant in Romulus, Michigan, where it will build the transmission.
GM and Ford are also reportedly sharing development over a new nine-speed transmission for front-wheel drive vehicles.
Ford says the Livonia investment is part of the company’s commitment to invest $9 billion and create or retain 8,500 hourly jobs in its U.S. facilities during the next four years. The automaker also just announced it will spend $200,000 million on new jobs at its Ohio Assembly Plant to build the Ford Super Duty chassis cab.
Photo Credit: Ford