Ford Invests £150 Million to Boost EV Parts Output From UK Plant

image is BloomburgMedia_RM7BBXT1UM0X01_01-12-2022_11-00-23_638054496000000000.jpg

HALEWOOD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: A general view of the Halewood Ford transmission assembly plant after Ford announced a 230 GBP investment on October 18, 2021 in Halewood, England. The carmaker said it would invest £230m in its Halewood plant to make electric car parts, with support from the British government's Automotive Transformation Fund, that would help safeguard 500 jobs. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Ford Motor Co. will spend about £150 million ($181 million) on expanding production of electric-vehicle components in England, a rare win for the UK’s struggling auto sector.

The investment will increase capacity at Ford’s Halewood transmission plant by 70% to 420,000 electric vehicle power units a year, the automaker said Thursday. Each unit is comprised of an electric motor and gearbox that replaces the engine and transmission of a conventional combustion vehicle.

Ford first announced over a year ago that it would convert the transmission-making facility near Liverpool to safeguard jobs as it aims to sell 600,000 EVs a year in Europe by 2026. Halewood is expected to supply power units for 70% of those vehicles.

The moves provide a much-needed boost to an industry beset by years of Brexit uncertainty, pandemic disruptions and shortages of components. Britishvolt Ltd., the company thought to be the country’s best hope for a homegrown EV battery maker, is struggling to stay afloat, and BMW AG recently announced it will move production of electric Mini hatchbacks to China.

Read more: The UK Car Industry’s Prospects Are Going From Bad to Worse

Ford’s fresh spending at Halewood adds to the £230 million the company pledged to the site last year. The manufacturer has a target to sell only fully electric cars in Europe by the end of this decade.

“We’re very committed to the UK,” said Kieran Cahill, vice president of Ford’s European industrial operations. “We will continue to look for growth opportunities if Halewood stays competitive.”

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©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

By Stefan Nicola


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