Ford Motor Co. has announced that its all-new compact pickup, the Ford Maverick, will be manufactured at its Hermosillo, Sonora, plant. The automotive manufacturer debuted its compact, hybrid truck on June 8, 2021, along with the news that it will share a production line with the recently launched Bronco Sport SUV.
Ford has a long history of producing new vehicles and components in Mexico. It has four plants in Mexico: building vehicles in Hermosillo and Cuautitlan, producing engines in Chihuahua, and manufacturing transmissions in Guanajuato. The availability of an experienced manufacturing workforce in Hermosillo and a strong local supplier base make the plant an ideal location to produce an innovative new vehicle.
With new models shaking things up for Ford—on top of the broader supply chain disruptions impacting automotive manufacturers worldwide—it's a safe bet that the OEM will be on the lookout for local suppliers to meet the demand for metal and lightweight composites fabrication, electronics manufacturing, and other innovative automotive components. By launching a facility in Sonora today, Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 automotive suppliers have an opportunity to satisfy demand for a fast-evolving automotive industry and one of Mexico's largest manufacturers.
The new vehicles Ford is building in Mexico
The Ford Maverick will be the first standard full-hybrid pickup in America and, at a targeted EPA-estimated rating of 40 mpg in the city, it is also positioned to be the most fuel-efficient truck on the U.S. market. With a starting MSRP under $20,000, it's also aiming to be the most affordable truck in the United States, filling a void driven by increasingly larger and more expensive trucks.
Despite its compact size, Ford says the five-passenger, four-door pickup will meet Built Ford Tough standards, meaning 1,500 pounds of payload capacity. Its small size means Ford has gotten creative with storage and cargo options, including a multi-position tailgate, slots to use lumber to subdivide the bed, two available 110-volt outlets in the bed.
Smart technology is also a priority, with a standard 8-inch touchscreen, FordPass™ Connect with an embedded modem, and Ford Co-Pilot360™ technologies such as automatic emergency braking and automatic high beam headlamps. This technology focus can be expected to drive demand for nearby electronics manufacturing.
"Maverick challenges the status quo and the stereotypes of what a pickup truck can be. We believe it will be compelling to a lot of people who never before considered a truck," commented Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager, in a news release on the vehicle.
The Maverick will share a production site with the new Ford Bronco Sport SUV. Assembly of the Bronco Sport began in late 2020. Like the Maverick, the Bronco Sport aims to provide a rugged ride in a compact form. In addition, news reports indicate that the next-generation Ford Transit Connect will also be built at the Hermosillo assembly plant in the months ahead. The small commercial van will share a Ford C2 platform with the truck and SUV when it goes into production by 2023. The company is reportedly already connecting with suppliers about the future product.
The Ford plants in Mexico
Since its launch in 1986, Ford's Stamping and Assembly plant in Hermosillo, Sonora, has earned a reputation for producing high-quality work by a highly-trained workforce. Today the plant employs nearly 3,000 people across a 279-acre site.
In its early days, the plant had component parts shipped from Japan, but the plant has since attracted the growth of a thriving local supplier base. The ratification of the USMCA agreement, and its demands for higher levels of North American-produced content, has only encouraged the development of a robust automotive manufacturing supply chain in Hermosillo.
While the Hermosillo plant is Ford's largest in Mexico, the Cuautitlan stamping and assembly plant further boosts Ford's capacity in the country. The plant employs approximately 1,000 people in producing the Mustang Mach-E. The 2021 Mach-E is Ford's first all-electric crossover, one of several vehicles driving demand for electric vehicle suppliers.
How Ford suppliers can meet supply chain needs
Before the 2022 Ford Maverick goes on sale in fall 2021, suppliers have an opportunity to position themselves to provide a range of components to the OEM. Among other changes, there is a growing demand for lightweight carbon fiber components, battery solutions, and advanced electronics within next-generation vehicles.
In addition, many automotive companies are seeking to diversify their supply chain for added resiliency. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, highlighted the need for manufacturers to connect with a broad range of suppliers. For example, shutdowns in certain regions impacted component manufacturing which in turn forced line closures as U.S. and Mexico vehicle assembly plants. As a result, automotive manufacturers at every level of the supply chain are seeking to expand their options to build in flexibility that will allow a faster response in the face of future disruptions.
When it comes to ensuring a fast response, Tetakawi can help. Our state-of-the-art Rio Sonora Manufacturing Community is only 15 minutes away from Ford's Assembly and Stamping Plant. By pairing world-class infrastructure with shelter services and a highly-trained and reliable workforce, Tetakawi's Rio Sonora Manufacturing Community positions automotive parts manufacturers to rapidly ramp up operations to supply Ford's factory in Mexico. We've supported manufacturers in launching operations in as little as 30 days.
If you're ready to position your company for future growth, contact Tetakawi today.