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Ford awards new contract to JL French

ABR Staff Writer Published 25 March 2011

Ford Motor has awarded JL French Automotive Castings a new contract to produce six speed front wheel drive transmission case and related converter housing for Ford vehicles such as Escape, Fusion, Edge and Explorer.

The products will be mated to Ford's new inline 4 cylinder engines and the parts will start production in JL French's Sheboygan, Wisconsin operations in June 2011 and is projected to ramp to 700,000 units per year by 2013.

The transmission represents approximately 30% of all transmissions to be produced at Ford.

The company said that in Sheboygan there are two related converter housings that will be produced at the Gateway Avenue plant using three 1,600 ton die cast machines and one transmission case that will be produced at the Gateway plant using four 3,500 ton die cast machines.

The transmission case will be semi-finish machined in the Taylor Drive facility using highly automated flexible CNC's that will be purchased for this program.

JL French was also awarded three other rear wheel drive transmission cases that are being cast at the Gateway plant on three 3,500 ton die cast machines.

The rear wheel drive transmission cases whose production started in September 2010 will be used in vehicles such as Mustang and F-150, and they will ramp to full volume by third quarter of 2011.

JL French chairman, president and CEO Tom Musgrave said winning these programs is a testament to their manufacturing capability, their focus on Quality and the dedication of their people.

"These programs are strategically important to JL French as we reposition the company into becoming a world-class medium to large aluminum die cast and machining supplier," Musgrave said.