The ratification of a labor deal between Ford and UAW last week may have seemed anti-climactic after the month-long strike that preceded the union and General Motors inking a deal. However, the ratification announcement nonetheless came with some fascinating tidbits, including confirmation of plans for hybrid variants the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.
The Expedition and Navigator hybrids will be built at Ford's Kentucky Truck plant, where the gasoline variants are currently produced alongside the F-Series Super Duty line. According to the Detroit Free Press, other variants of Ford's big SUVs are also in the works, and the $1 billion total investment slated for this facility could hint at big things to come. Ford had previously said the two large SUVs would get hybrid variants, but now we know where they will be built.
The Detroit Free Press story confirms hybrids and notes "other significant upgrades." One of those upgrades could be a plug-in hybrid powertrain, which Ford hasn't previously mentioned.
Ford's elimination of nearly all of its small cars and sedans may have eliminated a lot of its legacy hybrid platforms, but electrification is very much still a part of the Blue Oval's product plans.
Ford's (almost) sedan-free portfolio has already spawned several electrified offerings. The new Ford Escape Hybrid (along with its Lincoln equivalent, the Corsair) is available as both a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid, and the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator will be offered with hybrid and likely plug-in hybrid powertrains.
Some of the other plans included in the contract, including an all-electric variant of the F-Series pickup, were known as far back as January. The first electrified Ford pickup is expected to break cover some time next year. Meanwhile, the deal also hints at new Mustang variants to be built at the model's existing facility in Flat Rock, Michigan, and that does not include the new Mach-E crossover.
There will be plenty of room at Flat Rock for additional Mustang production, as the Lincoln Continental will be phased out relatively soon, leaving idle space that can be designated for Mustang production. What exactly that will mean for future of the brand still remains unclear.
Flat Rock may also be the home of two additional mid-size electric SUVs—one Ford and one Lincoln—if reports from earlier this year prove to be correct.