Posts Tagged ‘Ford Motor Company’

CSX to Serve New Ford Electric Vehicle Plants in Kentucky, Tennessee

October 4, 2021

CSX will serve facilities that Ford Motor Company plans to build in Kentucky and Tennessee to build electric vehicles and the batteries to power them.

The centerpiece of Ford’s plans is a 3,600-acre campus called Blue Oval City located northeast of Memphis that will assemble F-series battery-electric trucks and make batteries for electric vehicles.

The site is located along the CSX Nashville-Memphis main line. In Kentucky, Ford plans to build a facility in Glendale to produce batters for electric Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

That $5.8 billion plant is located on the CSX Louisville-Nashville line on 1,500 acres of property that CSX designed as a megasite in 2010.

In a news release, Ford officials project the two sites will begin production in 2025 and employ 11,000.

Ford said it expects that half of its vehicle production by 2030 will involve electric vehicles.

Back in the Weeds

June 30, 2020

You can find some amazing things tucked away in railroad dead lines or seldom-used sidings.

That was where these GE 132-ton locomotives were found.

The units are Wellsville Addison & Galeton Nos. 1800 and 1500 and they are in the dead line in Galeton, Pennsylvania, on July 26, 1973.

Both units were once owned by the Ford Motor Company.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Ford Paid $90M for Michigan Central Station

September 26, 2018

The price of saving a historic Detroit train station and transforming it into a facility to develop new technologies in the automotive industry was $90 million.

The Automotive News reports that was how much Ford Motor Company paid to buy the decrepit Michigan Central Depot, which will be the centerpiece of a 1.2 million square foot development that also includes residential, commercial and event space.

The figure was taken from government records and means that Ford paid $150 per foot for the 104-year-old, 600,000-square-foot building.

Ford plans to develop electric and autonomous vehicles at the campus it plans to establish at Michigan Central Station.

The company is seeking more than $230 million in tax credits for the project.

Ford Seeks $230M to Help Develop Detroit Depot

September 13, 2018

Ford Motor Company is seeking more than $230 million in aid to help it develop the former Michigan Central station in Detroit.

Of that, the automaker is asking the City of Detroit to kick in $100 million. The funds will be used to build a technology campus around the depot, which has been vacant and in deteriorating condition for many years.

Ford agreed last June to purchase the station and said it will spend more than $700 million of its own money to develop it.

The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation provided details of Ford’s bid for public assistance in a presentation this week.

During the presentation, officials projected the station development efforts will result in a net benefit to the city of $370 over 35 years.

Ford Details Plans for Detroit Station

June 20, 2018

Ford Motor Company said Tuesday that it plans to make the former Michigan Central station in Detroit the focal point of the company’s new mobility hub.

Built in 1913 in the city’s Corktown neighborhood, the station will be renovated to provide offices for its autonomous and electric vehicle teams and partners.

The grand hall will be restored to its original appearance and have local shops and restaurants.

The overall mobility hub project will see construction of 1.2 million square feet of space where by 2022 about 2,500 Ford employees will work.

Ford said it will devote 300,000 square feet of space to a mix of community and retail space and residential housing.

In a statement, Ford described development of the Michigan Central Station as critical to its future as it examines how urban areas are changing the overall role of transportation and the revitalization of cities.

An open house will be held in Michigan Central station June 22-23 that will feature exhibits of historic artifacts, self-guided tours through the station’s first floor, and a preview of an upcoming History Channel documentary showcasing Detroit’s comeback and the station’s critical role in the city’s revitalization efforts.

Amtrak ceased using the station in 1988 in favor of an adjacent modular facility. It later opened a station in the New Center neighborhood.

The 13-story office tower of Michigan Central Station stands 230 feet in height. Passenger service at the station began on Jan. 4, 1914.

In recent years, the station had become a symbol of urban decay with all of its windows broken out, and the building being used by the homeless, for criminal activity and by paintball enthusiasts.

Hundreds of antiques have been stolen from the station site over the years.

Ford Buys Detroit Michigan Central Station

June 12, 2018

Ford Motor Company has purchased the former Michigan Central Station in Detroit and plans to make it the centerpiece of an advanced automotive technology development in the Corktown neighborhood.

The station had been owned by the Moroun family since 1995 and had managed to survive a 2009 order of the Detroit City Council to raze the dilapidated structure.

Ford also acquired an adjacent building known as the Roosevelt Warehouse, which had previously been used as a schoolbook depository.

The 18-story Central Station has long symbolized urban blight in Detroit with its vacant offices and broken windows. It is surrounded by razor wire and a chain link fence.

Amtrak used the station from its 1971 inception until moving to a nearby modular facility in January 1988. Amtrak later built a station in the New Center neighborhood of Detroit that it began using in May 1994.

Matthew Moroun declined to disclose the sale price of the depot. “The deal is complete,” he said. “The future of the depot is assured. The next steward of the building is the right one for its future. The depot will become a shiny symbol of Detroit’s progress and its success.”

Ford plans to share information about its plans for renovating the station at a reception on June 19.

Reports that Ford was negotiating to purchase the station have circulated since March.

Based in suburban Dearborn, Ford has transferred 200 workers on its mobility team into a nearby former factory site and is actively seeking other properties in Corktown, Detroit’s oldest surviving neighborhood and located just west of downtown.

Opened in 1913, the Beaux Arts-style Michigan Central Station was at the time the world’s tallest train station.

Although the Morouns failed to demolish the station, they did install more than 1,000 new windows, restored a working elevator and cleaned up the interior.

“The Ford move to the train station is the right play at the right time,” said Robert Kolt, a professor of advertising and public relations at Michigan State University, in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. “Many university grads want to work and live in cool places with an energetic vibe. Ford can remake the area and rebrand what the company does with this type of bold move.”

“I think it’s smart,” Robert Davidman, partner at the Fearless Agency in New York told the Free Press. “If you really want to attract the top talent, you go to where they are. And this allows Ford to take a piece of history and reinvent it. This makes them forward thinkers. Ford is breathing life into something that once was — Ford is going back to their roots, back to where it all began. And it brings back the luster.”

Ford’s plans for the complex it is developing in Corktown include making it the focal point of the company’s efforts to shift toward self-driving, shared and battery-operated cars and logistics.

Corktown is located seven miles down Michigan Avenue from Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn.

Ford Action Not Expected to Affect Railroads

April 28, 2018

A decision by Ford Motor Company to end production of most sedans in North America is not expected to have a major affect on Class 1 railroads Trains magazine reported.

Ford plans to stop making  the Fusion, Fiesta, Taurus, and C-Max at assembly plants in the United States and Mexico, but will make other vehicles at those factories.

The automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, said the models being ended sold  315,400 vehicles last year of the 2.03 million vehicles it sold in North America.

Ford plans to focus more on its more profitable sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks, most notably those in the F series.

Trains said the Taurus is built at the Chicago Assembly Plant served by Norfolk Southern. Ford will begin building the 2020 Lincoln Aviator SUV at the plant.

The C-Max is built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, jointly served by NS and CSX Transportation. Ford also produces the Focus at the Michigan plant.

The Fusion, which is the best-selling model being discontinued, is built at an assembly and stamping plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, which is served by Kansas City Southern.

KCS also serves the Cuautitlan Stamping and Assembly Plant in Mexico, which churns out the Fiesta.

After phasing out these models, Ford will build just two cars, the Mustang and the Focus, which will debut as a new crossover dubbed the Focus Active.

Ford Might Buy Detroit Train Station

March 28, 2018

Ford Motor Company may purchase the long vacant and dilapidated Michigan Central Station in Detroit.

The station, which was once used by New York Central and later Penn Central and Amtrak passenger trains, is owned by billionaire trucking mogul Manuel “Matty” Moroun and his son, Matthew.

Ford has neither confirmed nor denied a news report by Crain’s Detroit Business that Ford is talking with the Morouns about buying the depot.

Crain’s said an announcement about the sale could come as early as sometime in April.

The report indicated that Ford would use the former station site for offices that could be used by upwards of 1,000 employees.

The business newspaper said a source familiar with Ford’s pursuit of the station said Ford wants to establish a workplace in an urban setting that can attract younger workers.

“Our young people love . . . living and working in urban areas,” said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. in January at the Detroit auto show.

The news has triggered widespread interest in the purchase of properties surrounding the station site in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood southwest of downtown.

Real estate broker James Tumey said he has received several cash offers, even at the full $540,000 price, for the properties that look out on the 500,000-square-foot depot.

“After this news, people are going crazy. They are buying just based off of Ford maybe coming in, throwing out offers on properties they haven’t even seen,” said Tumey, a Corktown resident who is vice president for Farmington Hills-based Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions.

The abandoned railroad station has been an eyesore in Detroit since the last Amtrak train pulled out in 1988 in favor of a new and smaller station in the New Center neighborhood.

Crain’s cited unnamed sources in saying that Ford is also interested in acquiring the former Detroit Public Schools book depository immediately to the east.

The auto company based in Dearborn has reportedly also looked at other properties not owned by the Morouns in the area for purchase.

Developers say that redevelopment of Michigan Central Station and its office building would cost at least $400 million.

Ford has already announced plans to establish offices for its autonomous/electric vehicle division along Michigan Avenue in Corktown.

Matthew Moroun told Crain’s last year that he has broached the idea of Amtrak returning to Michigan Central Station with Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Steudle has said he’s receptive to the idea and connecting the old train station to the central business district in the same way the QLine streetcar system connects the New Center area with downtown.

The Maroun family has reportedly spent more than $8 million over the past five years rehabilitating the building, including installing a freight elevator in the shaft of the depot’s original smokestack and installing 1,100 windows.

Ford Idles Assembly Plants in Michigan, Kentucky

October 27, 2016

Five assembly plants operated by Ford Motor Company will be idled this month, affecting traffic of Norfolk Southern, CSX and Kansas City Southern.

train image2One of the plants is located in Louisville, Kentucky, and is served by CSX. The other plants are located in Michigan; Claycomo, Missouri, (near Kansas City); and in Mexico.

Ford said that due to falling sales it was pausing production at plants that build the F-150 pickup, Escape and Lincoln MKC sport utility vehicles, and the Fusion and Fiesta cars.
The Louisville plant builds the Escape and was shut down this week.

Last week Ford temporary closed its Mustang assembly line at its Flat Rock, Michigan, plant. CN serves that facility while NS handles Ford traffic from its nearby Melvindale auto loading ramp.

U.S. Railroads Expect to Benefit From Increase in Auto Maker Manufacturing Capacity in Mexico

March 10, 2016

With U.S. auto makers seen as likely to increase vehicle production in Mexico and that is likely to be good news for U.S. railroads.

Although many of those vehicles will be built for export markets that do not include the United States and Canada, analysts expect U.S. railroads to see increased traffic in parts used to make vehicles as well as the finished vehicles.

Larry Gross, who is president of his own consulting business, told Trains magazine that a substantial number of the vehicles being built in Mexico are expected to move north by rail.

train image2Railroads also could benefit from hauling parts destined for the Mexican assembly plants.

Although this might seem to be a boost for railroad intermodal business, Gross said the complication is that moving the parts would involve two railroads working together which often do not work well together.

Nonetheless, some agreements have been worked out, including one involving BNSF and Ferromex (Ferrocarril Mexicano, FXE) to move auto parts in containers between Chicago via El Paso, Texas, to an assembly plants near Mexico City at which Volkswagen builds engines and General Motors assembles engines, transmissions and Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks.

The latest figures, which are from 2014, show that $73.5 billion in exports and imports moved by rail from Mexico to the United States.

Most of this traffic – more than half of which was vehicles and parts – was interchanged at gateways in Nogales, Arizona; Lardeo, Texas; and El Paso.

The statistics show that trucks handled about six times the business handled by railroads.

Trucks are not the only competitor for the railroads. “There is potential competition from ocean movement of vehicles, particularly into the East Coast,” Gross said. “How smoothly rail can flow across the border will be a key factor.”

Mexico is the third largest U.S. trading partner behind China and Canada. Auto production in Mexico began to accelerate after the 1992 adoption of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Auto analyst Jim Gillette said that auto production in Mexico is expected to soon reach three million vehicles per year.

Auto makers are eyeing markets in South American and Europe for the vehicles they build in Mexico.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Ford Motor Company plans to open a new assembly plant in the Mexican state of San Luís Potosí in 2018 that combined with an existing factory near Mexico City would have a production capacity for 500,000 more vehicles annually.

The WSJ report said that three-quarters of Ford’s production would still be in the United States. More than a year ago General Motors said it would double its manufacturing capacity in Mexico.

A wide range of brands, including Fiat, Lincoln and BMW, are built in central Mexico.

Lower labor costs are often cited for moving production south of the border, but U.S. companies have also said that the quality of the work of the Mexican assembly plants has met and sometimes exceeded domestic U.S. quality standards.

A Detroit Free Press report said that despite the increase in production in Mexico about two-thirds of new vehicles built in North America will be assembled in the United States.

The report said that the rise in production in Mexico is expected to come at the expense of auto manufacturing in Canada.