Ford races toward all-electric future in Europe, chooses Spanish plant for next-gen EVs

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 25 Jun 2022


Ford in Europe has announced another move toward an all-electric future, confirming that it has chosen its plant in Valencia, Spain, as the preferred site to assemble vehicles based on a next-generation electric vehicle architecture. Pending product approval, the Valencia plant could produce breakthrough electric and connected vehicles beginning later this decade.

The next-generation architecture is a critical step in the transformation of Ford in Europe to achieve an all-electric future and build a thriving business while making a positive contribution to society and reducing emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Ford’s plans for all-electric future in Europe supports the global goal of 2 million+ annual production of EVs by 2026 and 10% company adjusted EBIT margin by 2026.

Ford is also moving forward with a $2 billion conversion of its Cologne, Germany, operations to begin producing electric passenger vehicles starting in 2023. Ford’s European strategy calls for an exciting line-up of electric vehicles, including an electric version of the popular Ford Puma and extending its leadership in the commercial segment with electric Ford Pro vehicles and connected services. By 2026, Ford in Europe plans to sell 600,000 electric vehicles annually.

“We are committed to building a vibrant, sustainable business in Europe as part of our Ford+ plan, and that requires focus and making tough choices,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “The European auto industry is extremely competitive, and to thrive and grow we can never settle for less than unbelievably great products, a delightful customer experience, ultra-lean operations and a talented and motivated team.”

Continent-wide electric vehicle sales continue to grow rapidly (up 65% to 2.3 million in 20211) and the European Parliament voted earlier this month to set new CO2 targets for light-duty vehicles, including a requirement that new sales be 100% zero emission vehicles by 2035.

“We are accelerating our transformation in Europe, reimagining how we do business and building a future where amazing vehicles and relentless focus on customer experience goes hand-in-hand with protecting our planet,” said Stuart Rowley, chair, Ford of Europe and chief transformation & quality officer, Ford Motor Company.

Stuart Rowley: “Bringing our all-new electric vehicle architecture to Valencia will help us build a profitable business in Europe."

“Bringing our all-new electric vehicle architecture to Valencia will help us build a profitable business in Europe, secure high value employment and increase Ford’s offering of premium electric, high performance, fully connected vehicles that meet the demand of our European customers."

The decision announced followed the conclusion of comprehensive consultations with teams in Valencia, Spain and Saarlouis, Germany. Ford’s plant in Saarlouis will continue to produce the Ford Focus passenger car, while the company is also evaluating options for future site concepts.

Reiterates commitment to Germany
Ford also reiterated its commitment to Germany as the headquarters of its European Model e business and the site of its first domestic European electric vehicle production. The state-of-the art Cologne Electrification Centre will start production in late 2023.

“Ford is investing heavily in electric vehicle manufacturing operations in Germany, and we are committed to the country as our headquarters location in Europe,” said Rowley. “We look forward to progressing this work with our partners in Germany and across the whole region. To secure new product in Europe we need winning product designs, outstanding technology and engineering, optimized sourcing and an evolution of our industrial operations to ensure they are fully oriented to an electrified world.”

 


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