Ford of Europe has confirmed its plant in Valencia, Spain, has been chosen as the preferred site to assemble vehicles based on a next-generation electric vehicle architecture. Pending product approval, the Valencia plant could produce electric and connected vehicles beginning later this decade.
Ford is also moving forward with a $2 billion conversion of its Cologne, Germany, operations to begin producing electric passenger vehicles starting in 2023. Ford’s European strategy calls for an exciting line-up of electric vehicles, including an electric version of the popular Ford Puma and extending its leadership in the commercial segment with electric Ford Pro vehicles and connected services. By 2026, Ford in Europe plans to sell 600,000 electric vehicles annually.
“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,” stated Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “The European auto industry is extremely competitive, and to thrive and grow we can never settle for less than unbelievably great products, a delightful customer experience, ultra-lean operations and a talented and motivated team.”
Continent-wide electric vehicle sales continue to grow (reported to be up 65% to 2.3 million in 2021) and the European Parliament voted earlier this month to set new CO2 targets for light-duty vehicles, including a requirement that new sales be 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035.
“We are accelerating our transformation in Europe, reimagining how we do business and building a future where amazing vehicles and relentless focus on customer experience goes hand-in-hand with protecting our planet,” added Stuart Rowley, chair, Ford of Europe and chief transformation & quality officer, Ford Motor Company.
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 state-of-the-art Cologne Electrification Centre is expected to start production in late 2023.
“Ford is investing heavily in electric vehicle manufacturing operations in Germany, and we are committed to the country as our headquarters location in Europe,” said Rowley. “We look forward to progressing this work with our partners in Germany and across the whole region. To secure new product in Europe we need winning product designs, outstanding technology and engineering, optimised sourcing and an evolution of our industrial operations to ensure they are fully oriented to an electrified world.”