Ford invests $550M to build electric Focus

WAYNE, Mich. (AP) - Ford is stripping the word "truck" from the name of one of its Detroit-area assembly plants.

The automaker says it plans to build a new version of the Ford Focus for the global market there. That will include a battery-electric powered model that's expected to run up to 100 miles without using gasoline or emitting greenhouse gas.

Retooling the Michigan Truck plant will require a $550 million investment. CEO Alan Mulally says it's part of a plan "to profitably grow" the company. He says Ford is "fighting for the soul of manufacturing in the United States of America and worldwide."

The plant had been making big sport utility vehicles like the Lincoln Navigator, but the next-generation Focus is expected to begin rolling off the line next year and will be sold globally.

Ford is also developing a battery-electric Focus for the North American market. That's expected to appear in 2011.

Chairman Bill Ford Jr. calls it "the highest tech vehicle" in Ford's fleet.

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