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The company said the plant at Halewood on Merseyside will be “transformed” to build electric power units for future Ford all-electric passenger and commercial vehicles in Europe.
Halewood will be Ford’s first electric vehicle component in-house assembly site in Europe, with production beginning in 2024 – and the move safeguards hundreds of jobs.
Ford has committed to having all its passenger vehicles as all-electric and two-thirds of its commercial vehicle sales all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.
Power unit production in Halewood is expected to begin in mid-2024, with capacity planned to be around 250,000 units a year.
Ford said the investment is subject to, and includes, 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% 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.
“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.”
“This investment is excellent news for the highly skilled workforce at Halewood as it secures the future of the plant.
“It is absolutely imperative that the Government does not see this investment as a one-off but supports similar schemes to ensure the entire UK automotive industry experiences a smooth transition in the move to build electric vehicles.”
“Unite is absolutely dedicated to protect the jobs, pay and conditions of all our members and is working to ensure that similar projects are adopted throughout the UK’s world class automotive sector.”
Ford said Halewood was chosen to supply the power units, which replace the engine and transmission in a conventional petrol or diesel engine vehicle, 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 all of its production.
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 annually.
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