Ford announced that it intends to invest up to £230 million (US$316 million) at its Halewood vehicle transmission facility to transform it to build electric power units for future Ford all-electric passenger and commercial vehicles sold in Europe.
Halewood will be Ford’s first electric vehicle component in-house assembly site in Europe with production beginning in 2024. Production capacity is planned to be around 250,000 units a year. The investment is subject to and includes UK Government support through its Automotive Transformation Fund.
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.—Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe
The power unit is the complete all-electric assembly that replaces the engine and transmission in a conventional gasoline 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 and commitment of the employees.
Halewood currently builds transmissions for a number of Ford passenger and commercial vehicles and exports 100% of its production. Before being taken back completely into Ford ownership earlier this year, Halewood had been part of Getrag Ford Transmissions, the transmission manufacturing joint venture co-owned by Ford and Magna, for more than 20 years.
Ford is one of the UK’s largest exporters, exporting engines and transmissions from its facilities to more than 15 countries on six continents, with overseas sales generating around £2.5 billion (US$3.4 billion) annually.
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 modernize its vehicle assembly facility in Cologne, Germany, one of its largest manufacturing centers 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—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.