In addition to unveiling plans for Ford Ion Park in Michigan, the automaker confirmed plans to spend even more money on electric vehicle production in Romania.
Ford also said this week it will invest $300 million to build a new light commercial vehicle in 2023 at its Craiova Assembly Plant in Romania, including an all-electric version due to debut in 2024, making it the first all-electric Ford vehicle to be built in Romania in volume.
“Ford’s Craiova operations have a strong record of delivering world-class competitiveness and flexibility. Our plan to build this new light commercial vehicle in Romania reflects our continuing positive partnership with local suppliers and the community, and the success of the entire Ford Craiova team,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe.
The Romanian plant will be Ford’s third facility in Europe to build an all-electric vehicle, following the Ford Cologne Electrified Vehicle Center in Germany and Ford Otosan’s Kocaeli plant in Turkey. “(It) sends another clear signal that we are on an accelerated path to providing our commercial vehicle customers with a zero emissions future in Europe,” Rowley said.
Ford investing in new venture in Turkey
Ford Otosan, the company’s joint venture in Turkey, was confirmed as the source for a next-generation 1-ton commercial van. It will be sold as part of Ford’s Transit line-up and by Volkswagen through a strategic alliance between the two companies.
In February, Ford said its entire commercial vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024, with two-thirds of Ford’s commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.
The new light commercial vehicle also will be equipped with some of Ford’s most advanced conventional petrol and diesel engines, including advanced technology diesel engines from Ford’s Dagenham Engine Plant and transmissions sourced from Ford Halewood Transmissions Ltd., both based in the United Kingdom.
Ford electrification plans
Ford expects 100% of its passenger vehicles to be all-electric — and two-thirds of its commercial vehicles to be all-electric or plug-in hybrids — in Europe by 2030.
CEO Jim Farley said Ford is making good on its commitment to lead the electrification revolution in transportation. In addition to bringing more electrified vehicles to market, the company revealed plans to build the previously mentioned Ion Park. The facility, which will be located at a yet-to-be-determined location in southeastern Michigan, aims to accelerate research and development of battery and battery-cell technology and include future battery manufacturing.
During the first quarter, Ford generated $7.1 billion in revenue from its European operations, up 13%, and $341 million in EBIT, more than reversing a year-ago loss; and posted an EBIT margin of 4.8 percent.