Bringing jobs back to the US

Two Ford Motor Co. factories near Detroit will see 170 additional blue-collar jobs in the next two years as the automaker brings battery pack and gas-electric hybrid transmission assembly to the United States.

Ford said Monday it will invest $135 million by 2012 at factories in Ypsilanti Township and Sterling Heights, Mich., to design, engineer and produce components for its next generation of hybrids and fully electric vehicles. About half the investment comes from a federal grant.

The Ypsilanti factory, which now makes auto parts, will get $10 million of investment to build battery packs, creating about 40 new jobs. The packs are now assembled by Delphi Corp. in Mexico. Ford will get its advanced lithium-ion battery cells from a parts supplier that it would not identify.

The Sterling Heights transmission factory will get a $125 million investment and 130 new jobs to build the continuously variable hybrid transmissions now built in Japan.

Currently a supplier makes complex hybrid transmissions for Ford in Japan, the company said.

Ford also said that future development of electric and hybrid vehicles will be centered in the Detroit area, and it also will add 50 engineers to help do the work.

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