Ford's booming sales of hybrids and electric vehicles drive more good jobs for Michigan

Ford will expand its electrification engineering team by nearly 50 percent, growing to 500 salaried employees, according to a story published last week by our friend Matt Roush over at WWJ-AM and the Great Lakes IT ReportFord CMax Energi. “Further, the company is investing an additional $50 million in electrified product development and testing centers in Dearborn,” Roush reported.

They’re also planning to double their electrification battery-testing capabilities by the end of the year, to a total of 160 individual battery-test cells, helping to speed hybrid and electric vehicle development by as much as 25 percent.

The good news comes as Ford reported that its share of the electrified vehicle market in the United States quadrupled during the first half of 2013 vs. the first half of 2012, rising from 4 percent to 16 percent. Ford reported electrified vehicle sales of 46,197 units through June – more than 400 percent higher than the same period a year ago. The gain is supporting Ford’s nearly 1-point increase in overall U.S. market share, the biggest gain of any full-line automaker.

More good news for Michigan? The top trade-in for new Ford C-Max Hybrid is the Toyota Prius, which has seen a 5 percent drop in sales, as Toyota’s overall share of the U.S. electrified vehicle market is down 8 points.