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Ford to invest £230m in electric car parts plant at UK factory

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·2 min read
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PA News library filer dated 16/1/97 showing a general view of the Halewood Ford plant on Merseyside. Car giant Ford Thursday April 1, 1999, announced 680 voluntary job losses under plans to improve efficiency. The redundancies would be spread throughout the company, including the huge factories at Halewood on Merseyside and Dagenham, Essex, the firm said. PA photo: Dave Kendall. See PA Story INDUSTRY Ford
Power unit production in Halewood is expected to begin in mid-2024. Photo: Dave Kendall/PA

Auto industry stalwart Ford (F) said on Monday that it would pump up to £230m ($315.6m) into an electric car parts plant in Halewood, Merseyside. 

The factory will make electric power units for future Ford all-electric passenger and commercial vehicles sold in Europe.

Power unit production in Halewood is expected to begin in mid-2024. Production capacity is planned to be around 250,000 units a year. 

The investment — which is subject to and includes UK government support through its Automotive Transformation Fund — will help safeguard Ford jobs at Halewood.

Read more: Tesla Model 3 UK's best selling car in September

“This is an important step, marking Ford’s first in-house investment in all-electric vehicle component manufacturing in Europe. It strengthens further our ability to deliver 100% of Ford passenger vehicles in Europe being all-electric and two-thirds of our commercial vehicle sales being all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030,” said Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe.

The power unit is the complete all-electric assembly that replaces the engine and transmission in a conventional petrol or diesel engine vehicle.

Halewood currently builds transmissions for a number of Ford passenger and commercial vehicles and exports 100% of its production. Before being taken back completely into Ford ownership earlier this year, Halewood had been part of Getrag Ford Transmissions, the transmission manufacturing joint venture co-owned by Ford and Magna, for more than 20 years. 

Read more: Global chip shortage slows UK car production

Ford is one of the UK’s largest exporters, exporting engines and transmissions from its facilities to more than 15 countries on six continents, with overseas sales generating around £2.5bn annually.

“Today’s announcement, backed by government funding, is a huge vote of confidence in Britain’s economic future and our plans to ramp up electric vehicle production. It will future-proof Halewood’s proud industrial heritage and secure high-skilled, well-paid jobs across the North West for years to come,” said business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

Watch: Ford backs UK plant with £230m investment to support electric car future