Ford Pushes To Reclaim Its American Heritage

By Author: Harvey Briggs, Date: Sep 17, 2020
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Henry Ford’s vision for the democratization of personal transportation in the form of the Model T changed America. His concept of standardized mass production – revolutionary at the time – made the previously unobtainable, affordable accelerating our country’s move from an agrarian to manufacturing economy in a few short decades. It made suburban life possible. It brought good paying manufacturing jobs to working people creating the middle class. It’s safe to say, America wouldn’t be America without Henry Ford’s contributions.

Ford doesn’t want us to forget that so today to celebrate the start of manufacturing for the heavily updated 2021 F-150, they hosted an event at their Rouge manufacturing facility to point out a few things and introduce a new ad campaign.

In case the significance of the location is lost on anyone, Rouge is where Ford built Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Aircraft Engines for the Corsairs, Hellcats, Thunderbolts, and other fighter planes that helped win World War II.

The Vought F4U Corsair with a Ford-built Pratt & Whitney engine.

Ford executives tossed out a lot of big numbers thanks to a study done by Boston Consulting Group: Ford contributes $100,000,000,000 to the United States economy – the most of any American auto manufacturer. 35,000 people are needed to build all the F-150s Ford sells, and the truck is indirectly responsibly for 500,000 more jobs. They’re also quick to point out that Ford employs more hourly workers in America than any other auto manufacturer.

A rendering of Ford’s new EV manufacturing center at the Rouge Complex.

Amid all this propaganda, Ford did share some real news about the much anticipated all-electric F-150 they’ve been teasing for the past year or so. Ford President Kumar Galhotra, in a briefing the day before this event, stated the all-electric F-150 will go on sale mid-2022 and will be built in a new facility being constructed now at the Rouge Center. Looking to clearly position this truck against other EV pickups coming from Rivian, Tesla, Hummer, and Nikola, incoming CEO Jim Farley said, “It’s a workhorse, not a show horse destined for a shiny garage filled with four other luxury cars. It’s not for ‘never-nevers’ – never tow, never haul – it’s for serious truck owners.”

According to Galhotra, the all-electric F-150 will be the most capable Ford light-duty pickup ever made. It’s twin electric motors will generate more torque and give it greater towing capacity than today’s truck. Without a big V8 under the hood, that space will be used for secure storage, giving the truck a sizable trunk up front. In addition, the all-electric F-150 will require much less maintenance, reducing overall cost of ownership by 40%. Range and charge times are still unknown at this point. Given the competitive nature of the Mustang Mach E, expect the F-150 to deliver at or near best-in-class as well.

While Ford is focusing on its made-in-America impact and credentials – an important message during these turbulent political times – it’s also important to note Ford is a global auto company. While they are investing millions in U.S. facilities and adding thousands of new jobs, they will still maintain significant manufacturing, assembly, technology, and management resources in over 20 countries including China, Mexico, Russia, Germany, the UK, Brazil and Argentina to remain competitive in those markets.

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Harvey Briggs

Harvey Briggs is the Founder, Editor, and Publisher of Rides & Drives. He has also written for Car and Driver, Winding Road, and the luxury lifestyle blog, Pursuitist.com. His passions run from fast cars, small planes, boats and motorcycles to music, travel, and sports. When he's not on the road testing the latest cars, he been known to turn up on stage playing rock and blues guitar at clubs around his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. Follow Harvey's adventures on Instagram and Twitter @harvey_drives and find him on Facebook. Though keeping up could be a problem. As Harvey says, "If I don't slow down, time can't catch me."

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