Ford and SK Innovation to spend $11 billion, create 11,000 jobs on new U.S. EV and battery plants

Rendering of Ford’s $5.6 billion “Blue Oval Metropolis” campus in Tennessee. The location is anticipated to incorporate a provider park, battery manufacturing facility and a brand new meeting plant for electrical F-Collection vehicles.


DETROIT – Ford Motor and battery provider SK Innovation plan to speculate greater than $11.4 billion in new U.S. services that may create almost 11,000 jobs to supply electrical autos and batteries.

Ford is constructing twin lithium-ion battery crops in central Kentucky by means of a three way partnership with South Korea-based SK called BlueOvalSK in addition to an enormous 3,600-acre campus in west Tennessee, the automaker mentioned Monday night time. The campus will embrace one other a battery plant constructed with SK together with a provider park, recycling middle and a brand new meeting plant for electrical F-Collection vehicles, Ford CEO Jim Farley informed CNBC.

The plans are the most recent of Ford’s to extend growth and manufacturing of electrical autos — together with batteries — underneath Farley, who began leading the automaker a yr in the past this week. In addition they bolster President Joe Biden’s name for firms to onshore provide chains amid a global shortage of semiconductor chips that has disrupted a number of industries, together with automotive.

The funding is a part of Farley’s “Ford+” turnaround plan to make the automaker’s conventional operations extra worthwhile and higher place it for rising sectors corresponding to autonomous, electrical and linked autos.

“That is the brand new Ford,” Farley informed CNBC throughout a cellphone interview. “It is time. We’re placing shovels within the floor, 11,000 new employees. … It is an unlimited dedication to construct these digital merchandise.”

Ford doesn’t count on to tackle any extra debt to fund the plans, in response to Farley. He mentioned strikes might be funded by means of the corporate’s income.

The brand new funding comes on prime of the $30 billion the corporate beforehand mentioned would go to electrical autos by means of 2025, about $7 billion of which had already been invested earlier than February.

Manufacturing on the crops, except for one of many battery crops in Kentucky, is anticipated to start in 2025, the corporate mentioned. The second battery plant in Kentucky is anticipated to return on-line in 2026, in response to Ford.

‘Pivotal second’

The “new Ford” is a drastic pivot from Farley’s predecessor, Jim Hackett, who beforehand mentioned the automaker saw “no advantage” in producing its personal battery cells. It comes as Ford’s crosstown rival General Motors spends $4.6 billion through a joint venture with LG Chem for battery manufacturing, beginning in 2023.

Farley mentioned the funding ought to be additional proof that Ford, which many on Wall Road believed was behind on EVs, is positioned to be a pacesetter within the section. “I do not know of another firm making this announcement. Why would you ever suppose we’re behind? We’re forward,” Farley mentioned.

Shares of Ford have greater than doubled since Farley grew to become CEO of the automaker nearly a yr in the past.

About $5.6 billion of Ford’s funding with SK will go to a brand new campus known as Blue Oval Metropolis in Stanton, Tennessee and $5.8 billion for the 2 factories in Glendale, Kentucky. Ford will cowl about $7 billion of the $11.4 billion, in response to Lisa Drake, Ford’s North America chief working officer.

“It is a actually pivotal second for us and our nation right now,” Drake informed reporters throughout a name. “We’re saying the biggest single funding in new manufacturing services within the 118-year historical past of Ford.”

The three new crops for BlueOvalSK will allow 129 gigawatt hours a yr of U.S. manufacturing capability for Ford — sufficient to energy 1 million electrical autos yearly, Ford icials mentioned. That is greater than half of the EV manufacturing capability Ford anticipated to have globally by 2030.

“That is really a staggering challenge, and one which speaks to Ford’s ambition to the fast-growing U.S. EV trade,” SK Innovation international head of promoting Yoosuk Kim mentioned throughout a name.

New F-Collection coming

Ford has began preliminary pre-production of its electrical F-150 Lightning pickup truck at a brand new plant in Dearborn, Mich.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

“We will construct an all-electric backside up, optimized product platform on this plant. Will probably be the biggest plant within the historical past of our firm,” Farley mentioned. “We will construct numerous improbable F-Collection electrical autos there. We’re not going to be particular about what sort.”

Farley mentioned the corporate is “reinventing what a pickup truck can be,” together with the vary, with this announcement. Drake mentioned Ford expects one-third of full-size pickups bought within the U.S. to be absolutely electrical by 2030.

Ford’s present F-Collection lineup consists of the F-150 and bigger variations of the full-size truck in addition to medium-duty vehicles and chassis cabs meant for business patrons.

Farley and Drake in contrast the importance of the brand new EV crops to firm founder Henry Ford’s mass manufacturing of the Mannequin T, which made autos extra reasonably priced and accessible to most people.

Ford beforehand mentioned it anticipated no less than 40% of its gross sales globally to be electrical autos by the top of this decade. The goal was introduced previous to the Biden administration setting a goal last month for half of all new auto sales to be electrical autos, together with plug-in hybrid fashions, by 2030

Along with the manufacturing services, Ford mentioned it plan to speculate $525 million over the subsequent 5 years, together with $90 million in a pilot program in Texas, for coaching expert technicians to service EVs.

“That is just the start of our aspirations to guide America within the subsequent century of sustainable transportation economic system,” Drake mentioned. “This funding is catapulting us forward to guide the electrical revolution.”

The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first new all-electric car underneath an $11 billion funding plan in electrified autos by means of 2022.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

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