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Ford, battery supplier spends $ 11.4 billion to build a new US factory

Rendering of Ford’s $ 5.6 billion “Blue Oval City” campus in Tennessee. The site will include a supplier park, a battery manufacturing facility, and a new assembly plant for electric F-series trucks.

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Detroit – Ford Motor Battery supplier SK Innovation plans to invest more than $ 11.4 billion in a new US facility that will create about 11,000 jobs to produce electric vehicles and batteries.

Ford is building a twin lithium-ion battery plant in central Kentucky through a joint venture with South Korea-based SK. Called Blue Oval SK As with the 3,600-acre vast campus in western Tennessee, the automaker said Monday night. The campus will include another battery plant built at SK, a supplier park, a recycling center and a new assembly plant for electric F-series trucks, Ford CEO Jim Farley told CNBC.

This plan is Ford’s latest to increase the development and production of electric vehicles, including batteries, under Farley. Started to lead the car maker This week a year ago. They also strengthen President Joe Byden’s call to the land supply chain for businesses. Global shortage of semiconductor chips It has confused several industries, including automobiles.

Investment is part of Farley’s “Ford +” Turnaround Plan To make the traditional business of automakers more profitable and to put them in a better position for emerging sectors such as autonomous, electric and connected vehicles.

“This is the new Ford,” Farley told CNBC in a telephone interview. “Now is the time. We have shovels on the ground and 11,000 new workers …. Building these digital products is a big commitment.”

According to Farley, Ford does not expect to assume additional debt to fund the project. He said the move would be funded through the company’s interests.

New investment $ 30 billion The company had previously stated that it would go to electric cars by 2025, of which about $ 7 billion had already been invested by February.

With the exception of one of the battery plants in Kentucky, the company said production at the plant is expected to begin in 2025. According to Ford, Kentucky’s second battery plant will be online in 2026.

“Very important moment”

The “New Ford” is a radical gist from Farley’s predecessor Jim Hackett. I saw “no advantage” When manufacturing your own battery cell.It comes as a rival to Ford’s Crosstown General Motors Spend $ 4.6 billion Through joint venture When LG Chemistry For battery production from 2023.

Farley said the investment should further prove that Ford, which many on Wall Street believed was lagging behind EVs, is positioned as the leader in this segment. “No other company is making this announcement. Why do you think we are late? We are moving forward,” Farley said.

Ford’s share has more than doubled since Farley became CEO of an automaker almost a year ago.

Approximately $ 5.6 billion of Ford’s investment in SK will go to a new campus called Blue Oval City in Stanton, Tennessee, and $ 5.8 billion will go to two factories in Glendale, Kentucky. According to Lisa Drake, Ford’s Chief Executive Officer in North America, Ford will cover about $ 7 billion out of $ 11.4 billion.

“This is a really important moment for us and our country today,” Drake told reporters over the phone. “We are announcing the largest single investment in a new manufacturing facility in Ford’s 118-year history.”

BlueOvalSK’s three new plants will enable Ford’s annual production capacity of 129 gigawatt hours in the United States. That’s enough to power one million electric cars a year. This is more than half of Ford’s global EV production capacity expected by 2030.

“This is a truly amazing project and demonstrates Ford’s ambitions for the fast-growing US EV industry,” said Yoosuk Kim, Global Marketing Head of SK Innovation, on the phone.

Introducing the new F series

Ford has begun initial pre-production of the electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck at its new plant in Deerborn, Mississippi.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

“We plan to build an all-electric, bottom-up, optimized product platform at this factory, which will be the largest factory in our history,” Farley said. “I’m going to make a lot of great F-series electric cars there. I won’t tell you exactly what type they are.”

Farley said in the announcement that the company “reinvented what happens to pickup trucks,” including scope. According to Drake, Ford expects one-third of full-size pickups sold in the United States to be fully electric by 2030.

Ford’s current F-series lineup includes full-sized trucks larger than the F-150, as well as medium-sized trucks and chassis cabs for commercial buyers.

Farley and Drake compared the importance of the new EV plant to the mass production of Model T by the company’s founder Henry Ford. This has made the vehicle more affordable and available to the general public.

Ford said earlier that by the end of the last decade, it expects at least 40% of global sales to be electric vehicles.The goal was announced before the Biden administration set the goal Last month for half of all new car sales Become an electric vehicle including a plug-in hybrid model by 2030

Ford will invest $ 525 million over the next five years, including $ 90 million for a pilot program in Texas to train skilled engineers servicing EVs in addition to manufacturing facilities. He said it was a plan.

“This is just the beginning of our desire to lead America in the next century of a sustainable transport economy,” Drake said. “This investment is moving us forward to lead the electrical revolution.”

The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first new all-electric vehicle based on a $ 11 billion investment plan for electric vehicles by 2022.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

Ford, battery supplier spends $ 11.4 billion to build a new US factory

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