Magna International has announced establishing a factory in Chatham-Kent in Ontario, Canada. The automotive supplier will build battery housings for the all-electric F-150 Lightning there for customer Ford.
The 170,000 square foot (about 15,800 square metres) plant is expected to create up to 150 new jobs, according to Magna. No new plant will be built for the production line, but an existing facility will be converted. Magna subsidiary Formet Industries has been operating there since 1998.
“We are coming to Chatham with new job opportunities working on an exciting new technology that offers a lot of growth potential,” said Mark Johnson, general manager of Magna Formet Industries. Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff indicated that 150 to 450 more jobs will be created at regional suppliers, according to local media.
Ford is building the F-150 Lightning electric pickup at the Rogue Electric Vehicle Centre in Dearborn. Although Chatham is in Canada, it is only about 100 kilometres from the Ford plant – and with the bridge over the Detroit River, it is also directly accessible by truck. The battery cells, which are installed in the battery housings supplied by Magna Formet, are purchased by Ford from SK Innovation at the plant in Georgia.
Canada, and Ontario in particular, can currently benefit greatly from the proximity to the US car factories in Michigan. Just earlier this week, Stellantis and LG Energy Solution confirmed plans to build a battery factory of up to 45 GWh in Windsor – where 2,500 jobs are to be created. Windsor is only separated from Detroit by the Detroit River.
A little further east in the province of Québec, BASF is also planning a cathode material production plant. Another major project could follow: CATL is currently looking for a site for an 80 GWh cell factory in North America – in Mexico, the USA or Canada.
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