Ford announces $ 316 million conversion of its UK facilities to build the first electric vehicle components in Europe


Ford has announced that its vehicle transmission plant in Halewood, UK will be transformed to build power supply units for future Ford passenger and commercial electric vehicles in Europe. The £ 230million (approx. $ 315million) investment will see a complete overhaul of the facility, which is expected to begin production of EV components in 2024. When completed, the Halewood site will be the first to produce EV components for Ford in Europe.

Ford Motor Company has established itself as a household name in automobile manufacturing since its beginnings in the early 1900s and remains one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world today.

Although Ford remains a major global automaker, it has seen its market share shrink in recent years, especially as the appetite for electric vehicles grows.

To combat this paradigm shift, the automaker had directed a ton of its research, resources and production towards electric vehicles, including the Mustang Mach-E and the upcoming F-150 Lightning.

That being said, Ford has yet to deliver electric vehicles to Europe, although it has already promised that the first will arrive in 2023, with help from Volkswagen.

Anticipating its promised transition to electric vehicles overseas, Ford is now upgrading its current ICE manufacturing facilities to produce electric vehicle components, a first for the brand in Europe.

A robot at the Ford vehicle transmission facility in Halewood / Source: Ford

Ford to invest more than $ 300 million to build EV power units in Europe

In an official press release, Ford Motor Company announced plans to invest up to £ 230million (around $ 315million) in its Halewood vehicle transmission plant. The funds will be used to modernize the UK facility to support the manufacture of generator sets for future Ford passenger and commercial electric vehicles sold in Europe.

The power unit is the all-electric assembly that powers the EV instead of a traditional engine and transmission.

So in a way, the Halewood plant will be making components for the same purpose, but a much more modernized version, to say the least.

The reassignment of the facility near Liverpool will secure jobs for Ford employees who work there while delivering the necessary components to the automaker. Stuart Rowley, President of Ford of Europe spoke:

This is an important milestone, marking Ford’s first internal investment in the manufacture of fully electric vehicle components in Europe. It further strengthens our ability to deliver 100% of Ford passenger vehicles in Europe fully electric and two-thirds of our sales of fully electric or plug-in hybrid commercial vehicles by 2030. We would also like to thank the UK government for its support to this significant investment in Halewood which reconfirms Ford’s continued commitment to the UK and our position as a leading investor in the automotive industry and technology base in that country.

According to the statement, Ford’s investment “is subject to and includes UK government support.” This support will come through the Automotive Transformation Fund, a government program to accelerate the UK’s transition to electric vehicles.

The refurbished Ford plant in Europe is expected to start producing EV power units by mid-2024. Before that, Ford is expected to see its first touring EV built in Europe roll off its production line in Cologne, Germany, in 2023.

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