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Report: Ford Could Build Prius-Fighting Model E at San Luis Potosi Plant

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The 2016 Ford C-MAX is a four-door hatchback that’s available in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants

You may recall that back before Tesla’s newest model was known as the Model 3, it was being floated as the Model E. The name was ultimately dropped not because it would enable cheekier folks to arrange the automaker’s lineup to spell out the word SEX, but because Ford intervened. This naturally led to rumors that Ford had a new dedicated EV on the way, and those rumors were reawakened again last week with the announcement of a $1.6 billion production facility being built in Mexico.

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Automotive News, in their coverage of the story, noted research from AutoForecast Solutions suggesting that Ford would bring production of the Model E to its new small-car assembly plant in San Luis Potosi in order to combat the popular Toyota Prius. Per that report, the Model E would be available as a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and a full electric vehicle, ostensibly taking the place of the C-MAX. It is anticipated that production would begin in 2019.

It is estimated that max annual production capacity for the plant would fall somewhere between 300,000 and 350,000 vehicles, and that approximately 50,000 units of that total would be the Model E. The others would likely be the Ford Focus, which is anticipated to be the primary export of the plant.

This mirrors Ford’s revelation that it would shut down production of both the Focus and C-MAX at its Wayne, Michigan assembly plant by 2018, aligning fairly perfectly with the start of production at the Mexican plant.

Ford has not confirmed its plans for the plant, and likely will not do until closer to the completion of the plant, which is expected to be sometime next year.

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News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)