Ford to invest billions, build four factories, to strengthen EV production
Ford Motor Company has announced it will invest $11.4 billion to strengthen its electric vehicle production scale and capacity. Ford stated that it will build four new plants across the US and that these will create around 11,000 new jobs. This, of course, is in clear contrast to its strategy in India where it it has opted to shut down local production and only offer high-end vehicles via import route.
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While Ford India may have been facing mounting losses and massive challenges that eventually led to the decision to stop local manufacturing at its two plants here, the company in its home base of the US seems intent on dominating the EV field. While it already offers a few options like the Mustang Mach-e and the F-150 Lightning, expect more in the coming times. With its South Korean partner SK Innovation, Ford plans to have these four new facilities as the epicenters from which to further advance EV plans. The Americans will put up $7 billion while the remainder will come from SK Innovation.
(Also read: Ford India workers protest over Sanand plant closure)
Ford is claiming that the new facilities would be the ‘largest, most advanced, most efficient auto production complex in its 118-year history.' A statement issued by the company highlights that it expects anywhere between 30% to 40% of global vehicles to be powered by battery. “This is a transformative moment where Ford will lead America's transition to electric vehicles and usher in a new era of clean, carbon-neutral manufacturing," said Executive Chair Bill Ford. “With this investment and a spirit of innovation, we can achieve goals once thought mutually exclusive - protect our planet, build great electric vehicles Americans will love and contribute to our nation's prosperity."
Ford has thus far fared reasonably well with its F-150 Lightning and the Mach-E. Demand for both EVs have been encouraging in the US, putting Ford in a position from which to challenge not just traditional rivals like Volkswagen but even EV giant Tesla. "We are moving now to deliver breakthrough electric vehicles for the many rather than the few," said Jim Farley, the company's CEO.
(With inputs from AFP)