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Ford Talks Future, Including Keeping a Manual in the Mustang – For Now

Dearborn has big plans in store, committing to adding more than six thousand jobs to its manufacturing concerns in the Midwest while bringing half that many again into the fold as full-time workers from their current roster of temporary employees. Also of interest to this site? Mention was made of the imminent arrival of the new Ranger – already shown in other markets – and the next Mustang.

And good news gearheads: The next iteration of the Blue Oval pony car will keep its manual transmission.

We’re not Luddites around here (well, ok – there’s one or two) and we recognize there are plenty of world-class automatic which can trip the lights fantastic more quickly than just about every human driver on the planet. This helps explain why so many extremely high-performance machines are available only with paddle-shifted auto boxes or, if a manual transmission is actually available, the optional stick is frequently slower to accelerate than the automatic. Nevertheless, a row-yer-own gearbox offers a level of driver engagement many of us still enjoy.

This explains why we were gratified to see an icon for a manual transmission as part of a graphic presented to investors when talking about the upcoming 7th-generation Mustang. News about the next Glass House filly has been scarce but it is expected to retain a honking big V8 – at least early in its product cycle – along with at least one smaller engine choice. Expect a hybrid down the road after its initial debut, if the talking heads are to be believed. Wild speculation has placed an electric motor on that car’s front axle, creating an all-wheel-drive ‘Stang, but we certainly won’t hold our breath on that one lest we perish from asphyxiation.

As for the new jobs, Ford says they are supported by $3.7 billion of investments in manufacturing facilities across Ohio, Michigan, and Missouri.

“Ford is America’s Number 1 employer of hourly autoworkers, and this investment only deepens our commitment to building great new vehicles – from an all-new Mustang to new EVs – right here in the U.S.,” said Bill Ford. “I am proud that we are investing in the Midwest and taking real action to provide better benefits and working conditions for our workers on the plant floor.”

Specific investitures include $2 billion at various locations around Michigan and the creation of nearly 2,000 jobs throughout three assembly plants in the state. Product shoutouts at the financial event included a commitment to increase production of the all-new F-150 Lightning electric truck to 150,000 per year at Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, the production of their new Ranger at Michigan Assembly in Wayne, plus the new Mustang at Flat Rock.

[Image: Ford]

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