Ford has revealed it will be transforming its facility located at Halewood, UK. The factory was used for making transmission parts but will now produce electric power units for the EVs Ford will sell in Europe. It will take care of both passenger and commercial vehicles.
The American company is one of the established automakers shifting their focus to electric vehicles to keep up with the times. One of the early fruits of the effort is the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which borrows name and styling from the iconic Mustang line powered by internal combustion engines. It will also release the F-150 Lightning, an electric pickup truck.
Europe is yet to get an electric vehicle from Ford, despite decades of its presence on the continent. Obviously, that will change as the repurposing of the Halewood plans signifies Ford is turning its electric vehicle attention to Europe.
Ford will spend about $315 million on the upgrade to a modern production facility. The 500 workers employed at the plant are assured of their jobs.
The UK government will support Ford’s proposal through its Automotive Transformation Fund, whose purpose is to accelerate the transition to EVs in the UK. The fund provides EV companies with 10 percent of their total investment.
The repurposed plant should start production in 2024, although Ford would have been making electric vehicles in its facility in Cologne, Germany. At full capacity, the Halewood plant will manufacture about 250,000 units per year.
Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe, said: “This is an important step, marking Ford’s first in-house investment in all-electric vehicle component manufacturing in Europe. It strengthens further our ability to deliver 100 percent of Ford passenger vehicles in Europe being all-electric and two-thirds of our commercial vehicle sales being all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.
We also want to thank the UK Government for its support for this important investment at Halewood, which reconfirms Ford’s continuing commitment to the UK and our position as a leading investor in this country’s auto industry and technological base.”