Ford is pouring $350 million into its Michigan transmission plant as it makes big bets on the cars of the future

People walk by the Ford display during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit
Thomson Reuters

(Reuters) – Ford said it would invest $350 million to upgrade its Livonia transmission plant in Michigan as the company expands its lineup of fuel-efficient powertrains.

The 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 in the next few years.

The announcement comes just a few days after Ford said it will cut 1,400 jobs in North America and Asia in order to boost profits. The company’s stock has fallen nearly 40% over the last three years.

Ford is investing heavily in electric vehicles and autonomous technology. The company is spending $4.5 billion over five years to introduce 13 new electric vehicles, some of which will feature self-driving capabilities.

As part of that $4.5 billion strategy, Ford cancelled its plans for a new $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and instead channeled $700 million toward upgrading a factory in Michigan.

The company also invested $1 billion in startup Argo AI as an extension of its autonomous driving efforts.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)