Ford have announced that it intends to invest up to £230 million in the UK at its Halewood vehicle transmission facility in Merseyside. This is to transform the plant to build electric power units for future Ford all-electric passenger and commercial vehicles sold in Europe.
Power unit production in Halewood is expected to begin in mid-2024, with production capacity planned to be around 250,000 units a year. The investment, which is subject to and includes UK Government support through its Automotive Transformation Fund, will help safeguard the Ford jobs at Halewood.
Stuart Rowley, Ford of Europe president, 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 U.K. and our position as a leading investor in this country’s auto industry and technological base.”
The power unit of an electric car is the complete assembly that replaces the engine and transmission in a conventional petrol or diesel engine vehicle. The Ford Halewood transmission facility was chosen to supply the power units given its excellent record on quality, competitiveness and the strong skills base of the employees.
Kwasi Kwarteng, The UK Government’s business secretary, said: “Ford’s decision to build its first electric vehicle components in Europe at its Halewood site is further proof that the UK remains one of the best locations in the world for high-quality automotive manufacturing. In this highly competitive, global race to secure electric vehicle manufacturing, our priority is to ensure the UK reaps the benefits.
“Today’s announcement, backed by government funding, is a huge vote of confidence in Britain’s economic future and our plans to ramp up electric vehicle production. It will future-proof Halewood’s proud industrial heritage and secure high-skilled, well-paid jobs across the North West for years to come.”
This is great news for the skilled workforce at the Halewood Plant in Liverpool in North West England. Ford are investing heavily in their rapid transformation to electric cars and vehicles. They join other large vehicle manufactures, including Vauxhall at Ellesmere Port and Nissan in Sunderland, who are also investing in the future of the motor industry in the UK.
The Halewood news follows a number of major electrification announcements from Ford in Europe this year. Spearheading Ford’s advance into an all-electric future is a new $1 billion investment to modernise its vehicle assembly facility in Cologne, Germany, one of its largest manufacturing centres in Europe and the home of Ford of Europe.
The investment will transform the existing vehicle assembly operations into the Ford Cologne Electrification Center for the manufacture of electric vehicles, Ford’s first such facility in Europe. Ford’s first European-built, volume all-electric passenger vehicle will roll off Cologne’s production line in 2023.
Ford also announced earlier this year that in addition to building the all-electric E-Transit from 2022, Ford Otosan, which is Ford’s joint venture in Turkey, will produce an all-electric version of the next-generation Transit Custom from 2023 at its manufacturing facility in Kocaeli, Turkey. A new light commercial vehicle being built by Ford’s vehicle assembly operations in Craiova, Romania, also will include an all-electric derivative from 2024.