Ford to electrify its European operations - invest $1 billion
The carmaker is taking a significant step forward in its European transformation, committing to go all-in on its electric passenger vehicles and to substantially grow and electrify its commercial vehicle business.
Ford has committed that by mid-2026, 100 percent of Ford’s passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, and will be completely all-electric by 2030. But that's not all, the company aims to have 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 news comes after Ford reporting, in the fourth quarter of 2020, a return to profit in Europe and announced it was investing at least USD 22 billion globally in electrification through 2025, nearly twice the company’s previous EV investment plans. “We successfully restructured Ford of Europe and returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020. Now we are charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience,” says Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe, in a press release. “We expect to continue our strong momentum this year in Europe and remain on track to deliver our goal of a six percent EBIT margin as part of Ford’s plan to turnaround our global automotive operations.” Central to Ford’s transformation of its operations in Europe over the past two years were a USD 1 billion improvement in structural costs, addressing underperforming markets, the creation of a more targeted vehicle line up within three customer-focused business groups. Ford big step into an all-electric future is led by a new USD 1 billion investment to modernise its vehicle assembly facility in Cologne, Germany, one of its largest manufacturing centers in Europe and the home of Ford of Europe. The investment will transform the existing vehicle assembly operations into the Ford Cologne Electrification Center for the manufacture of electric vehicles, Ford’s first such facility in Europe. Ford also confirmed that its first European-built, volume all-electric passenger vehicle for European customers will be produced at the facility from 2023, with the potential for a second all-electric vehicle built there under consideration. "The decision to make the production and development site in Cologne the e-mobility center for Ford in Europe is an important signal to the entire workforce," says Martin Hennig, chairman of the General Works Council of Ford-Werke GmbH. "It offers a long-term perspective for our employees and at the same time encourages them to help shape this electric future."