Ford considers reorienting European factories to make electric car parts
According to foreign media reports, Ford Europe may further reduce production capacity and may adjust the direction of the factory, the company will focus on light commercial vans, as well as a profitable passenger car product line.
Ford’s European unit has gone through a two-year restructuring plan, closing or selling five plants, three of them in Russia. Ford has cut production shifts and cut 20 percent of its workforce at the remaining plants, reversing years of financial losses.
Stuart Rowley, president of Ford Europe, said in an interview: “The restructuring plan is very important, however, the next phase of the transformation will require us to take further action, we may relocate production facilities or make other changes.”
Ford Europe may withdraw from certain passenger vehicle segments as part of its plan to sell only electric vehicles in Europe, Rowley said, meaning the company will ditch gasoline and hybrid vehicles, including hybrids, by 2030. Diesel passenger car.
“We’re going to choose segments where consumers have demand, growth, and profitability,” Rowley said. “We may not necessarily meet everyone’s needs in the future.”
The electrification revolution has forced Ford to rethink its network of engine and transmission plants. Last year, Ford’s engine plant in Bridgend, Wales, ceased production, while Ford and Magna International agreed to end their transmission joint venture on March 1. Ford took over transmission plants in Halewood, England, and Cologne, Germany, while Magna took over a transmission plant in Bordeaux, France.
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Mach-E (Image credit: Ford)
Rowley said Ford may adjust some of its factories to make electric vehicle components. Ford has already started producing parts for the Mustagn Mach-E electric vehicle in the United States. “During our transformation, there will be fewer powertrain plants. However, we may invest in the production of electric components,” he said.
Last month, Ford announced it would invest $1 billion to build an electric vehicle manufacturing center at its Cologne plant, which currently produces the Fiesta small car. In mid-2023, the plant will start producing electric vehicles using the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform. The new model is expected to secure the future development of the plant. “The Cologne plant won’t be the last to electrify,” Rowley said. “As we move forward and start investing, we will announce more plant electrification news.”
Ford said in February that the restructuring helped them eliminate $1.1 billion in structural costs, helping the company post its highest quarterly profit in four years in the final quarter of 2020.
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