Flat Rock Assembly Plant
Flat Rock Assembly Plant, formerly known as Ford's Michigan Casting Center (MCC) (1972-81), Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA (1987–92) and AutoAlliance International (1992-12), is a Ford Motor Company assembly plant located at 1 International Drive in Flat Rock, Michigan in Metro Detroit. The plant currently consists of 2,900,000 square feet (270,000 m2) of production space and employs 1,685 hourly workers represented by the United Auto Workers Local 3000, as well as 140 salaried workers. The plant currently produces the Ford Mustang coupe and the Ford Fusion.
Following three years of work and the largest single investment by Ford, the Michigan Casting Center (MCC) opened in January 1972, at the time one of the most technologically advanced casting facilities in the world. Despite the sizable capital investment, frequent union labor problems and work injuries and declining demand for the V8 engine blocks produced there led to the facility's closure in 1981.
Mazda Motor Corporation started construction of a new building on the site of the Michigan Casting Center in 1985 and cars started production at Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA in September 1987 with the Mazda MX-6 and Ford Probe coupes. In 1991 the plant had 3,600 employees, including 250 Japanese employees.
Ford repurchased a 50% share in the plant on April 15, 1992, and it officially became a joint-venture and was renamed AutoAlliance International on July 1, 1992. The plant began production of all models of the Mazda 626 sold in America starting in 1993. The Ford Contour-derived Mercury Cougar was produced at the plant from 1999 to 2002. Production of North American Mazda 6 models began in the 2002 model year, along with the current version of the Ford Mustang in 2005. The factory will start producing the Ford Fusion for the 2014 model year.
The last Mazda 6 rolled off the line on Friday, August 24, 2012, with Mazda discontinuing production on American soil, effectively ending the 20 year joint-venture between Mazda and Ford. Mazda moved production of the Mazda 6 back to Japan and is opening a new factory in Salamanca, Mexico, to build the Mazda 2 and Mazda 3 subcompact and compact cars.
On September 10, 2012, Ford Motor Company re-took full management control of the plant, renaming the plant the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant, and confirming $555 million in investments designed to retool the plant for the production of the 2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan. Preceding models are assembled in Mexico. Fusion production is expected to begin in the Summer of 2013, at which point a second shift of approximately 1,200 more workers will be added.
- Mazda MX-6 (1988-1997)
- Ford Probe (1989-1997)
- Mazda 626 (1990-2002)
- Mercury Cougar (1999-2002)
- Mazda 6 (2003-2012)
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