Ford, Lincoln EV crossovers planned for Flat Rock, Mich., factory

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Ford Motor Co. plans to build two midsize battery-electric crossovers for the Ford and Lincoln brands at a plant near Detroit for the 2023 model year, Automotive News has learned.

Three sources with knowledge of Ford’s plans say scheduled production of the vehicles, code-named CDX746 and CDX747, was moved to the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan from Cuautitlan, Mexico. The vehicles are similar in size to the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus but will be built on the company’s battery-electric vehicle platform, the sources said.

Both will be 2023 models, with production starting in late 2022 or early 2023. Ford has asked suppliers to prepare for production of up to 65,000 units per year, one of the sources said.

A company spokeswoman on Monday declined to comment, citing a policy of not discussing future vehicles.

The automaker has revealed plans to build EVs in Flat Rock, but details of those vehicles were unclear.

The addition of the two EVs essentially signals the end to U.S. production of the slow-selling Lincoln Continental, which Ford builds at Flat Rock Assembly alongside the Ford Mustang. Ford is expected to stop making the Continental there in late 2021, according to two of the sources, while continuing to produce the large sedan in China.

It’s unclear whether Ford might import the Continental to the U.S. from China. Last year, it axed plans to import the Focus Active wagon from China, citing tariff concerns.

The two new EVs also will be a bargaining chip Ford can use in contract negotiations with the UAW, which is seeking commitments from the Detroit 3 for more U.S. investment.

Ford has been largely mum on its plans for battery EVs since announcing in 2018 that it would invest $11 billion toward electrification globally through 2022. It said it would add 16 battery EVs globally during that period.

As of now, Ford has confirmed a Mustang-inspired crossover, an electric F-150 and a yet-to-be-determined EV co-developed with Rivian. The Mustang-inspired crossover, scheduled to go on sale next year, will be built in Cuautitlan, where production of the Fiesta was expected to end this month.

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