Ford is to invest some GBP230m in electric powertrain components production at its Halewood transmissions plant in northwest England.
The company said the facility will be transformed to produce electric power units for future Ford electric passenger cars and commercial vehicles in Europe.
Halewood will be Ford’s first electric vehicle component in-house assembly site in Europe.
Power unit production in Halewood is expected to beginin mid-2024. Production capacity is planned to be around 250,000 units a year. The investment –which is subject to and includes UK Government support through its Automotive Transformation Fund –will help safeguard the Ford jobs at Halewood.
“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,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe.
“We also want to thank the UK Government for its support for this important investment at Halewood which reconfirms Ford’s continuing commitment to the UK and our position as a leading investor in this country’s auto industry and technological base.”
The UK Government’s business secretary, The Rt. Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng MP, said: “Ford’s decision to build its first electric vehicle components in Europe at its Halewood site is further proof that the UK remains one of the best locations in the world for high-quality automotive manufacturing. In this highly competitive, global race to secure electric vehicle manufacturing, our priority is to ensure the UK reaps the benefits.“Today’s announcement, backed by government funding, is a huge vote of confidence in Britain’s economic future and our plans to ramp up electric vehicle production. It will future-proof Halewood’s proud industrial heritage and secure high-skilled, well-paid jobs across the North West for years to come.”
The power unit is the complete all-electric assembly that replaces the engine and transmission in a conventional petrol or diesel engine vehicle. Ford said the 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.
“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. The decision recognises the experience, commitment and competitiveness of our world class workforce and is a great source of pride for all of us working at Halewood Transmission Plant and for the wider community,” said Kevin Pearson, Unite union convenor for Halewood.
Halewood currently builds transmissions for a number of Ford passenger and commercial vehicles and exports 100 percent 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.