The United Auto Workers union has narrowly voted to approve a new collective bargaining agreement with the automaker. As is usually the case with these contracts, the agreement sheds some light into Ford’s future product plans by way of the plants the company is committing investment dollars into. Among the plans is confirmation of a hybrid version of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.
Ford currently builds the Expedition and Navigator at its Kentucky Truck Plant near Louisville. The plant also produces the F-Series Super Duty pickup. According to the new UAW agreement, Ford is promising a hefty $1 billion investment into the plant, which will yield “significant upgrades” to the large SUV portfolio, as reported by Detroit Free Press.
The upgrades will include a new hybrid powertrain, which is something Ford has confirmed in the past for its large SUVs. Details of the hybrid powertrain have not been disclosed or leaked out, but one possibility is a plug-in hybrid, something Ford has not disclosed publicly. Given the Lincoln Aviator offers a plug-in hybrid with plenty of power for the larger Navigator, it seems highly probable.
Other noteworthy updates from the contract include electric and hybrid versions of the F-150, to be produced at Ford’s Dearborn Assembly plant. The contract also suggests an all-new Ford Ranger will arrive in 2022, while Flat Rock Assembly is slated to get additional Mustang variants (not including the Mach-E).
Many of Ford’s drivetrain factories will begin pivoting to producing batteries and electric transmissions; a clear sign of where the company is heading throughout the four years this UAW contract covers.