Ford (F) is preparing a $316m investment to build electric car components in northern England. This is a historic move for Ford since it will be the first time that the giant automobile manufacturer builds an in-house plant for electric components in the European continent.
The plant, which will be integrated with the existing Halewood factory, will produce 250,000 EV units a year starting from 2024. The UK government seems ready to support Ford’s commitment by issuing a $40b check to the company — not too bad at all! This comes as Ford promised to retain at least 500 British workers at the Halewood factory, which has recently seen its workforce decimated due to the impact of Covid-19 and automation.
Ford’s decision to start manufacturing EV components in northern England is compliant with the UK government’s plan to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030 – hybrids will shortly follow in 2035. The company has also committed to making two-thirds of commercial vehicle sales all-electric or hybrid by 2030.
why it matters
Following Brexit, many auto manufacturers were worried about setting up new plants in the UK due to potential trade barriers. However, the deal signed in December 2020 between the EU and the UK secured zero-tariff access for the sector. Nissan will shortly follow with a GBP 1b electric plant in Sunderland.