Ford in Europe said its plant in Valencia, Spain, would assemble vehicles based on a new electric vehicle architecture.
Pending product approval, the Valencia plant could produce “breakthrough” electric and connected vehicles later this decade, the automaker said.
Ford is also moving forward with a US$2 billion conversion of its Cologne, Germany operation, to begin production of electric passenger cars from 2023.
The European strategy calls for a line of electric vehicles, including an electric version of the popular Puma
and expand its commercial segment leadership with electric vehicles and connected services. Ford plans to sell 600,000 electric vehicles annually in Europe by 2026.
“We are committed to building a vibrant, sustainable business in Europe as part of our Ford+ plan, and that requires focus and making tough choices,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO.
Electric vehicle sales across the continent continue to grow rapidly (up 65% to 2.3 million in 2021) and the European Parliament voted earlier this month to set new CO2 targets for light vehicles, including a requirement that new sales to be 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035.
Stuart Rowley, chairman, Ford of Europe and chief transformation & quality officer, said: “By bringing our all-new electric vehicle architecture to Valencia, we will be able to build a profitable business in Europe, secure high-quality employment and expand our premium electric vehicle offering. , powerful, fully connected vehicles that meet the demands of our European customers.
The decision followed the conclusion of extensive consultations with teams in Valencia, Spain and Saarlouis, Germany. Ford’s Saarlouis plant will continue to produce the Focus passenger car, while the company is also evaluating options for future location concepts.
Ford also reiterated its commitment to Germany as the headquarters of its European Model e business and the site of its first domestic European electric vehicle production. The Cologne electrification center will start production at the end of 2023.
“Ford invests heavily in electric vehicle production in Germany, and we are committed to the country as our headquarters in Europe,” said Rowley. “We look forward to continuing this work with our partners in Germany and across the region. To secure a new product in Europe, we need winning product designs, excellent technology and engineering, optimized sourcing and an evolution of our industrial operations to ensure they are fully geared towards an electrified world.”