Ford renegotiated its union contract last week in the USA, and the key points have just been leaked. These concern planned investments in individual plants as well as decisions on which models to electrify.
In the majority of the US plants, the existing models will continue to be manufactured, with electrified vehicles being added at three production sites: The F-150 electric pickup will apparently be built at the Dearborn plant in the US state of Michigan just like its combustion engine counterpart. This is also where Ford intends to produce batteries for the model. What is still unclear is when the electric version of the USA’s best-selling car will come onto the market.
The all-electric version of the Ford Transit, which is intended for the European market, will be produced in Kansas City, while the PHEV versions of the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair will probably be delivered in Louisville. The electric SUV with Mustang genes planned for 2021 is not explicitly mentioned in the leaked documents. Still, it will likely be built as a “Mustang derivative” in the Ford factory in Flat Rock – also in Michigan. According to the US site Electrek, the e-SUV will be unveiled on 17 November.
Preparations for the production of electric cars are also being made at Ford’s US component plants. For example, a new line for BEV transmissions is being installed at the transmission plant in Livonia (Michigan). The Van Dyke plant in Sterling Heights will also manufacture electric motors, and the Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti will build batteries for hybrid vehicles.
In Europe, Ford has recently initiated a restructuring process with a view to its electrical plans. The plan is to cut around 12,000 jobs by the end of 2020 and close or sell six production and component plants. Besides, Ford Europe restructured in mid-2019 into the Passenger Cars, Commercial Vehicles and Import Models divisions.
The company’s European activities including the production of battery-electric models, will be bundled in the German region of Cologne-Merkenich. In June, Ford already announced its intention to produce a future “family of battery electric vehicles” in Europe – but without providing any further details. Incidentally, the two purely electric models mentioned above are the responsibility of different business units in the new European organisational structure: The electric transit van from Commercial Vehicles, the “battery-powered SUV inspired by the Mustang”, is an import model. In future, the Passenger Cars division will be responsible for the electric cars developed in Cologne, Germany.