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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Update from Cuautitlan:

Great news: the last of the big tools has arrived from Michigan and will be set up this week. By August, they will start "production". I put production in quotes because you have to remember this is the Ford Motor Company Cuautitlan Stamping and Assembly Plant (CSAP). They start producing body panels soon (stamping). They'll start painting soon. Lots of things have to be made before assembly begins. That's the difference between "production" starting in August and Job #1 on October 26. They'll need all those frames, all those painted body panels, etc. in place.

Remember that we learned from
the early July FDNB (Fleet Distribution News Bulletin), that the production timetable for the 2021 Mustang Mach-E is:
  • 06/22/2020 - 2021MY Order Bank Open Date
  • 08/20/2020 - 2021MY Scheduling Begins
  • 10/26/2020 - 2021MY Job #1 Date
Order bank open - check

Scheduling: That's when they make sure they plan for all the parts in all the right colors, interior colors, styles, etc. for all the varied build options. Remember that Selects and First Editions have body colored mirror caps and Premiums and CA Route 1s have black mirror caps? All you Infinite Blue lovers will want all the needed body panels stamped and pre-painted in Infinite Blue. Of course, we can't forget all those battery packs from Poland, wheels of various types from wherever, and so on, and so on.

Sorry, my source didn't know anything about whether demo units will start assembly in advance of the customer units, so we're still left with guessing whether the fabled demo units coming to at least some dealers in September will be early full production units or will come out of the pre-production units being tested and driven now. I also don't have any more intel about the production rate at the plant. My source thinks it is capable of way more than 1000 units per week but we also should remember they produced 60,000 Fiestas per year in that plant.

BTW, the folks in Cuautitlan were as excited about the Mach E 1400 as we were. Nothing like a little enthusiasm builder to raise morale!
 

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Not really. Lots of parts for those 300 cars were made in Michigan and shipped down. They also didn't have the full line robotics up and running then, so it was a much more manual operation than when the line is really running.
Wonder if those 300 cars are what we see testing the battery and charging systems around the world?
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Wonder if those 300 cars are what we see testing the battery and charging systems around the world?
Yes, that's exactly what they are.

First there were the strange test mules: black and white, white and black. Of course, we didn't start seeing those until after the reveal.

Then there were the limited number of show cars, used at Auto shows, the current Dutch Mach in a Box, and for the "test drives", mostly where professional drivers drove the press around. Also the few show cars used for photo shoots, etc. (including the snow demo).

All of those were hand-built prototypes.

We saw the first pre-production Mach E come out of Cuautitlan on February 19:

then early assembly photos in early March:

and bunches in the Cuautitlan parking lot in late March and wrapped for shipping in mid-April. All of these with proper paint jobs in standard colors.

These are the roughly 300 pre-production Cuautitlan units being used for testing, etc., with 95 produced before COVID-19 shut down the plant and the rest after they started running again.
 

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Ford recently had an event at the plant.



Today, the production start of mustang Mach-E 2021 is announced at the Cuautitlán Izcalli (CSAP) assembly and stamping plant in the State of Mexico, Ford's first electric SUV produced in Mexico for the world. With the presence of Alfredo del Mazo, governor of the State of Mexico, Héctor Pérez, CEO of Ford de México, as well as the main executives of the company, us kicking off a new era for the signing of the blue oval globally as part of the 56th anniversary of the plant.

The assembly of an all-electric vehicle is different from that of a combustion vehicle, as the requirements and needs are completely different. This is why the Cuautitlán Izcalli plant, where the Ford Fiesta was produced from 2010 to 2019, carried out an adaptation process of approximately one year to be able to integrate the new technologies, as well as meet all the requirements to have the complete equipment. At the same time, the staff received a training that allowed them to know each of the processes for the creation of this product, its technology, design and engineering to deliver the most innovative vehicle, with the highest level of quality characteristic of Mexican talent.

"Mexico is the perfect country to lead this transformation, Thanks to the capacity and experience that Mexicans have demonstrated in the design, engineering and manufacture of the brand's products, we have been selected to revolutionize Ford's history with the brand's first electric SUV, as well as revolutionizing the automotive industry in the country 95 years ago, and 56 years after celebrating the opening of our Cuautitlán plant," said Héctor Pérez, CEO of Ford of Mexico.

The manufacturing process had to make some updates and changes during the adaptation process for the development of Mustang Mach-E's final structure:

Stamping: The dies weigh between 20 and 40 tons, there is a gripper crane and two hook capable of lifting up to 50 tons, in addition, there are 5 presses of between 1,000 and 2,500 tons of pressure to mold the blades and it is the first plant to implement an anti-collision and anti-grieving system in the cranes.

Bodywork: Cuautitlán is Ford's first global plant to use the machine vision system. In addition, it has 190 Fanuc-type robots with next-generation dimensional localization systems, allowing 90% of this process to be automated.

Painting: The unit is cleaned with Zirconium and prepared for the application of the Ecoat, which gives it corrosion resistance while giving the leveling needed to the surface to receive the paint. Similarly, a new liquid application process of noise insulators is incorporated, as well as two-tone paint for the units.

Assembly: The area is divided into two parts: Trim, where the interiors of the unit are installed, and Chassis that takes care of the exterior parts as well as mechanics. The new line of high voltage batteries has 75% automatic processes. Finally, it takes 7 hours and 247 people for each shift for a vehicle to be completed at a rate of 20 units per hour.

"Ford of Mexico and the Cuautitlán Izcalli plant carry Mustang's DNA since having produced this model in the 80s, and now with the Mustang Mach-E we return to the production of the family of their most iconic vehicle. CSAP is ideal for carrying out this transformation for its quality and proven efficiency over the years," said Enrique Araiza, director of manufacturing. "On the other hand, being a vehicle focused on the global market, Mexico is strategic thanks to its privileged location."

Mustang Mach-E

Since the original Mustang took the world by surprise in 1964, it quickly represented the best of the American spirit: freedom, progress, rapid performance, and a touch of rebellion.

Mustang Mach-E, Ford's first electric SUV, in extended-range all-wheel drive configurations, now ranges from 332 to 459 horsepower and 417 to 612 lbs. – torque foot**. In addition, the electric pony will integrate for the first time some technologies and modes of handling that make it the most innovative of Ford.

In terms of battery life, you'll have standard and extended range battery options with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive powered by permanent magnet motors. Equipped with an extended range battery and rear-wheel drive, it has an estimated range of at least 480 km.*

"As part of our evolution, Ford's vision has been completely transformed for several years, which is why we announced a year ago the arrival of our first electric SUV that not only adapts to be more environmentally friendly, but, that does not leave aside the athletic performance that people are looking for," added Marcos Pérez, director of product development.

The manufacture of Ford's first electric SUV also commemorates the country's importance to the brand globally and, above all, the 95 years of presence in Mexican territory that is reinforced by the innovation that arrives in Mexico to transform the mobility of the world and deliver products that allow them to go further.

*Based on full load. Actual range varies with conditions such as external elements, driving behaviors, vehicle maintenance, and lithium-ion battery age.
**Based on manufacturer calculation using computer engineering simulations. Your results may vary.
 

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Nice article.

Interesting facts:

One MMe produced every 3 minutes (20 per hour). That’s a build rate of 67,000/year with 2 shifts.

Ford has set the build rate to less than half of ICE vehicles at the same plant (Fiesta production rate was about one every 80 seconds) Build-time said to have increased for the MMe because Ford is focusing on quality control of their first-ever dedicated-platform BEV. Additionally, it is an effort to reduce warranty costs. (Info from statements by CEO Farley)
 

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3,129 Mach-Es were produced at the plant in December. 6,717 produced in total for 2020.

 
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