Ford is set to invest up to £230 million at its Halewood vehicle transmission facility to transform it to build electric power units for future Ford all-electric passenger and commercial vehicles sold in Europe.
Power unit production in Halewood, located just outside Liverpool, is expected to begin in mid-2024, while production capacity is planned to be around 250,000 units a year, Ford said.
The power unit is the complete all-electric assembly that replaces the engine and transmission in a conventional petrol or diesel engine vehicle.
The investment – which is subject to and includes UK Government support through its Automotive Transformation Fund – will help safeguard the Ford jobs at Halewood, the automaker added.
“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 per cent 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, Ford of Europe.
The UK Government’s business secretary, The Rt. Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng MP, said: “Ford’s decision to build its first electric vehicle components in Europe at its Halewood site is further proof that the UK remains one of the best locations in the world for high-quality automotive manufacturing. In this highly competitive, global race to secure electric vehicle manufacturing, our priority is to ensure the UK reaps the benefits.”
Halewood currently builds transmissions for a number of Ford passenger and commercial vehicles and exports 100 per cent 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.