Located in the city of Wayne, The Blue Oval’s Michigan Assembly Plant (MAP) currently builds the Ford Focus and will soon begin building the Focus Electric, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in electric vehicle — making the plant the only manufacturing facility in the world capable of building vehicles powered by gasoline, electricity, and a combination of both (hybrids) on the same production line. And while these vehicles, based on Ford’s global C-segment platform, are bound to have a lasting impact on the automotive landscape, MAP won’t have nearly as big of an impact on the environment.
For starters, MAP is the first plant in the U.S. to use a three-wet paint application process on a commercial basis. According to Ford environmental engineer John Nowak, “In most other automotive plants, we apply a layer of paint called the primer coat and we bake the unit, and then we put on the base coat and the clear coat, and we bake it again. The three-wet process allows us to put on primer, base and clear, and bake it only once. We save all the electricity from the blowers that run the booths and the ovens, plus all the natural gas from heating the air and the ovens. Ford is leading the way on this greener, cleaner paint process.”
Thanks to the three-wet paint application process, MAP will reduce CO2 emissions by 6,000 metric tons per year (compared to waterborne paint systems) and by 8,000 metric tons (compared to conventional solvent-borne finishes) — all while saving $3 million and not compromising paint quality or durability.
MAP has also been fitted with one of the largest solar power generation systems in Michigan, which is expected to save approximately $160,000 each year in energy costs. Additionally, ten electric vehicle charging stations have been installed in the plant that will be used to charge electric trucks that run parts between nearby facilities. The move is expected to save 86,000 gallons of gasoline per year.
“MAP epitomizes the best of what Ford stands for — fuel efficiency, quality, smart technology,” said Mark Fields, Ford President of The Americas. What’s more, “Focus delivers even more of what customers truly want and value—and this new car could not arrive in the market at a better time.”
The Motrolix Take
At the end of the day, Ford is building itself into a better company, and a better automaker — one that’s more technologically-savvy, efficient, and environmentally-sustainable. And who said that being green doesn’t translate into direct monetary savings?