Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn announced its intent to invest up to $268 million to reconfigure its Halewood, England vehicle transmission facility to build electric power units for future all-electric passenger and commercial vehicles sold in Europe.
The automaker expects power unit production to being in mid-2024, with the production capacity expected to be around 250,000 units per year. The investment is subject to and includes U.K. government support through its Automotive Transformation Fund, and is designed to help safeguard Ford jobs in Halewood.
“This is an important step, marking Ford’s first in-house investment in all-electric vehicle component manufacturing in Europe,” says Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of 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.”
The power unit is the complete all-electric assembly that replaces the engine and transmission in a traditional combustion engine vehicle. The Halewood facility’s quality record, competitiveness, skills base, and employee commitment were all reasons for its selection to receive the investment.
The facility currently builds transmissions for select Ford passenger and commercial vehicles, and exports 100 percent of its production. Before Ford acquired full ownership of the plant earlier this year, it had been part of Getrag Ford Transmissions, co-owned by Ford and Magna for more than 20 years.
“We’re delighted the company has decided to make this important investment at Halewood, helping to safeguard Ford jobs at the site into the future,” says Kevin Pearson, Unite union convener for Halewood.
The announcement follows a number of electrification announcements from Ford in Europe this year. The largest is a $1 billion effort to modernize its vehicle assembly facility in Cologne, Germany, the home of Ford of Europe and one of the automaker’s largest European manufacturing centers.
The company also announced earlier this year that in addition to building the all-electric Ford E-Transit starting in 2022, Ford Otosan — its joint venture in Turkey — will produce and all-electric version of the next-generation Transit Custom at its Kocaelli facility starting in 2023.