Ford Motor Co Selects its Plant in Spain to Build 'Breakthrough' EVs for the European Market on a Next-Gen Architecture

Ford Motor Co Selects its Plant in Spain to Build 'Breakthrough' EVs for the European Market on a Next-Gen Architecture

Author: Eric Walz   

Ford Motor Co's electric vehicle plans are not just limited to the U.S. In Europe, Ford is also gearing up to build more electric models for the local market. 

The automaker announced on Wednesday that it selected its assembly plant in Valencia, Spain as the site where it will assemble "breakthrough" electric and connected vehicles built on a next-generation EV architecture. Ford says its new EV architecture will be a critical component of its all-electric future in Europe. The Valencia plant could begin producing electric and connected vehicles beginning later this decade.

Ford says its decision followed comprehensive consultations with teams in Valencia, Spain and Saarlouis, Germany. Ford's plant in Saarlouis will continue to produce the Ford Focus passenger car for the European market, but the automaker is also evaluating options for future site concepts.

In addition to the new EV plant in Spain, Ford is also moving forward with a $2 billion investment to retool its Cologne, Germany factory to begin producing electric passenger vehicles. Ford plans to make Germany the headquarters of its European EV business and the site of its first electric vehicle production in Germany. Ford's state-of-the-art Cologne Electrification Center will start vehicle production in 2023. 

"We are accelerating our transformation in Europe, reimagining how we do business and building a future where amazing vehicles and relentless focus on customer experience goes hand-in-hand with protecting our planet," said Stuart Rowley, chair, Ford of Europe and chief transformation & quality officer, Ford Motor Company.

Ford's European strategy calls for an entire line-up of new electric vehicles, including an electric version of the popular Ford Puma compact SUV. By 2026, Ford plans to sell 600,000 electric vehicles annually in Europe.

"We are committed to building a vibrant, sustainable business in Europe as part of our Ford+ plan, and that requires focus and making tough choices," said Ford CEO Jim Farley. "The European auto industry is extremely competitive, and to thrive and grow we can never settle for less than unbelievably great products, a delightful customer experience, ultra-lean operations and a talented and motivated team."

Ford reported that its electric vehicle sales for all of Europe continue to grow rapidly. The company says sales increased by 65% in 2021 to 2.3 million electrified vehicles. 

Ford's EV plans in Europe come as the European Parliament voted this month to set new CO2 targets for light-duty vehicles, including a requirement that new sales be 100% zero emission vehicles by 2035.

Ford plans to increase its EV production globally to 2 million+ vehicles by 2026 and the plant in Spain will help support that goal. In addition, using a standardized EV architecture for future models will help support more cost effective manufacturing. The automaker aims for a 10% company adjusted EBIT margin by 2026.

With rising inflation and the higher costs of raw materials, Ford's Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said last week at the Deutsche Bank Global Automotive Conference that the cost to manufacture the electric Mustang Mach-E in the U.S. has become so expensive that it's wiping all of the profits that Ford expected to make from it.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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