Ford is biting the electric bullet in Europe and preparing Cologne to make its first Europe-built BEV car from 2023

Ford is biting the electric bullet in Europe and preparing Cologne to make its first Europe-built BEV car from 2023

Ford in Europe has unveiled a new ramped up electrification strategy that includes making all its passenger cars sold in Europe zero emissions capable by mid-2026 and also transforming its Cologne site into a hub for electric car manufacturing. Ford's announcement follows a number from OEMs (including JLR this week) eager to ratchet up their electrification strategies in the face of tighter regulatory pressures and constraints ahead for fossil-fueled vehicles over the next decade.

Ford said today that by mid-2026, 100 percent of Ford's passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, and will be completely all-electric by 2030. Similarly, Ford's entire commercial vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024, with two-thirds of Ford's commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.

Ford recently reported a return to profit in Europe and announced it was investing at least $22 billion globally in electrification through 2025, nearly twice the company's previous EV investment plans.

"We successfully restructured Ford of Europe and returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020. Now we are charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience," said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe. "We expect to continue our strong momentum this year in Europe and remain on track to deliver our goal of a six percent EBIT margin as part of Ford's plan to turnaround our global automotive operations."

Ford Cologne $1 billion investment

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 also confirmed that its first European-built, volume all-electric passenger vehicle for European customers will be produced at the facility from 2023, with the potential for a second all-electric vehicle built there under consideration.

"Our announcement today to transform our Cologne facility, the home of our operations in Germany for 90 years, is one of the most significant Ford has made in over a generation. It underlines our commitment to Europe and a modern future with electric vehicles at the heart of our strategy for growth," Rowley said.

"The decision to make the production and development site in Cologne the e-mobility center for Ford in Europe is an important signal to the entire workforce," said Martin Hennig, chairman of the General Works Council of Ford-Werke GmbH. "It offers a long-term perspective for our employees and at the same time encourages them to help shape this electric future."

Rowley concluded: "We will offer an exceptional range of electrified vehicles, supported by customer-centric digital services and experiences, allowing our customers to come with us on

the journey to a fully electric future, starting right now with the launch of the all-electric Mustang Mach-E. In combination with our leading commercial vehicle business, this will form the basis of a sustainably profitable Ford business in Europe."

Additional details of Fords electrification plan and the transformation of the Cologne site will be shared over the coming months, the company said.