Hundreds of jobs have been saved after Ford chose a factory in Merseyside to make parts for electric cars.
The automotive giant has announced plans to exclusively sell electric vehicles in the UK and the rest of Europe by the end of this decade.
The US manufacturer is now set to revamp a factory in Hailwood, Liverpool, to develop electric power units for vehicles. Hailwood will be Ford’s first electric vehicle component in-house assembly site in Europe.
The £230m investment is reportedly expected to save around 500 jobs.
Unite union general secretary Sharon Graham said it was “excellent news for the highly skilled warriors” at the Merseyside factory. “It secures the future of the plant,” she said.
Production of the power unit at Halwood is expected to begin in mid-2024, with a capacity planned to be approximately 250,000 units per year. The parts will be destined for all future Ford all-electric passenger and commercial vehicles in Europe.
Stuart Rowley, Ford’s President of Europe, said: “This is a significant step forward, marking Ford’s first in-house investment in all-electric vehicle component manufacturing in Europe.
“This further strengthens our ability to be 100 percent all-electric and two-thirds of our commercial vehicle sales in Europe for Ford passenger vehicles to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.”
Ford said the Hailwood investment was subject to, and is included in, government support through its Automotive Transformation Fund.
In February, Ford pledged to make all its European passenger vehicles electric by the end of 2030, in line with EU limits on carbon dioxide emissions.
Mr Rowley said the car giant was “going all-in” on electric vehicles at the time.
The company also announced that it would spend millions to convert its factory in the German city of Cologne into a European electric vehicle plant.
Ford’s move comes months after Vauxhall’s parent company announced similar plans. Stelantis’ troubled Elsmere Port factory in north west England will now manufacture electric vehicles following a £100m investment backed by the UK government.
Stellantis-owned Citroen and Peugeot brand vehicles will also roll off the production line at Ellesmere Port.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /