Ford announced plans to make a $1.6 billion investment in its Livonia Transmission Plant outside Detroit where the current six-speed transmission for the F-150 pickup truck and full-size SUVs are made. The investment will create or retain 500 jobs at the facility.
The plant will be redesigned and upgraded to build Ford's all-new 10-speed automatic transmission slated to go into the F-150 Raptor first, then migrate to many other F-150 models and Ford SUVs.
The 10-speed is a joint venture between Ford and GM, who are also partnering to build a nine-speed transmission (Ford lead development on the 10-speed, GM on the 9-speed). Ford's first application of the new 10-speed will be in the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, which PickupTrucks.com Editor Mark Williams took a ride in during the March Mint 400 Best in the Desert off-road race. From there, the 10-speed eventually will make its way into other F-150 models for late-entry 2017 models.
GM will first use the new transmission in the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, a high-performance version of the stout muscle car. GM says that the new transmission will be found in eight of its models by 2018 but has not specified which ones, so no word yet on if the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 will get it.
Additionally, Ford also announced it plans to invest an additional $200 million at its newly refurbished Ohio Assembly Plant to build 2017 Super Duty chassis-cab trucks (the F-350, F-450 and F-550). This will create or retain another 150 jobs at the plant.