Ford to Build Hybrid Components in Michigan

Ford Motor Co. announced Monday that it plans to spend $135 million to develop and produce components such as battery packs and electric-drive transaxles as part of its effort to launch five new electrified vehicles in the U.S. by 2012 and in Europe by 2013.

Ford and rival General Motors Co. have been increasing their spending on electric and hybrid vehicle technology due to pressure to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Both companies reported improved sales of cars and light trucks last month that reflected continuing gains for the industry after one of its worst sales years ever.

The Ford moves will add a combined 170 jobs at two Michigan plants, relocating the work from facilities in Mexico and Japan. The company expects to hire more than 50 electric vehicle engineers.