Ford scaling back plans for Michigan EV battery plant
Ford announced Tuesday it would resume construction on an elective vehicle (EV) plant in Michigan that was postponed by the United Auto Worker (UAW) strikes, but will scale back its plans.
“While we remain bullish on our long-term strategy for electric vehicles, we are re-timing and resizing some investments,” the company said in a statement. “As stated previously, we have been evaluating BlueOval Battery Park Michigan in Marshall.”
The automaker said it is focused on balancing "investment, growth, and profitability."
Ford put the EV plant on hold in late September after the UAW began its strikes, which targeted assembly plants run by the three major U.S. automakers: Ford, General Motors and Jeep-maker Stellantis. All three companies voted to ratify new agreements last week.
Ford spokesman Mark Truby said Tuesday that the company had looked at its forecasts for EV sales and whether the company could make profit out of the factory, The Associated Press reported.
The plant, located in Marshall — about 100 miles west of Detroit — will create more than 1,700 jobs, the AP noted. The company previously said it had planned to create 2,500 jobs at the site.
Ford announced the project in February, with a goal of building the country’s first automaker-backed lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery plant. The motor giant, and its collaborators, has invested $17.6 billion in electric vehicle and battery production in the U.S. since 2019, The Hill previously reported.
While Ford initially estimated that the new battery plant would add 35-gigawatt hours per year of capacity in the U.S., the company said in Tuesday's release that it would scale back to a planned capacity of approximately 20-gigawatt hours annually.
“We still expect BlueOval Battery Park Michigan to be the first of Ford’s battery plans of this kind when it begins producing LFP battery cells starting in 2026,” Ford’s statement reads.
The announcement comes just days after members of the UAW union ratified new contracts with the company. The deal will raise pay across the industry, force automakers to absorb higher costs and reshape EV production.
Workers at Ford voted 69.3 percent in favor of the updated terms, which passed in a vote Saturday. The agreement will run through April 2028.
|Link:||Read more at "The Hill"|