Motor giant Ford has unveiled a $22 billion programme of investment that will see every passenger vehicle manufactured by the firm in Europe fully electric within nine years.
The group has said it is “to go all-in” on its electric passenger vehicles and to substantially grow and electrify its commercial vehicle business.
It pledged 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.
The news comes after Ford reporting, in the fourth quarter of 2020, 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.”
Spearheading Ford’s advance into an all-electric future is a new $1 billion investment to modernise its vehicle assembly facility in Cologne, Germany, one of its largest manufacturing centres in Europe and the home of Ford of Europe.
“The investment will transform the existing vehicle assembly operations into the “Ford Cologne Electrification Centre” 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 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,” Mr Rowley added.
“The decision to make the production and development site in Cologne the e-mobility centre 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.”
Mr 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.”