Bill Ford took center stage at Ford's centennial of its Rouge assembly plant.

Bill Ford took center stage at Ford's centennial of its Rouge assembly plant.

Photo courtesy of Ford.

Ford will produce a gasoline-electric hybrid F-150 pickup at its Ford River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Mich. within two years, the company announced during a celebration at the plant commemorating 100 years of building vehicles.

The plant's 7,500 employees work three shifts to build the trucks. Ford is now prepping the facility to build the hybrid F-150s. In 2020, the plant will begin building the F-150 Hybrid.

The plant will use the latest technologies in robotics, 3D printing, and virtual reality from Ford's newly opened $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Mich. Ford's workforce will receive training via a $35 million expansion of the UAW-Ford training facility just a few miles from the plant.

"Just as the Rouge has been a harbinger of progress for a century, Ford is committed to ensuring our trucks continue to power the world in a sustainable way, whether they are powered by EcoBoost engines, hybrid powertrains, or are fully electric,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman.

The Rouge plant opened in 1918, when workers began producing Eagle boats for the U.S. Navy during World War I. It has produced the Model A, Mustang, and F-150, among its vehicles. By the 1930s, more than 100,000 workers reported to the complex each day. It had its own fire department, police force, and hospital. It had a power plant, steel mill, glass factory, and hundreds of miles of rail.

In 2014, Ford modified the plant so workers could build the aluminum-body F-150, by adding a closed-loop system that allowed the company to recycle as much as 15 million pounds of aluminum per month. The plant recently received zero-waste-to-landfill status.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet

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