Ford, SK to invest $ 11.4 billion to add F-150 electric plant, three battery plants

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DETROIT / SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co (FN) and its Korean battery partner SK Innovation (096770.KS) will invest $ 11.4 billion to build an electric F-150 assembly plant and three battery factories in the United States, accelerating the American automaker’s push into electric vehicles.

Ford said Monday it now expects 40 to 50 percent of its global vehicle volume to be fully electric by 2030, up from its previous forecast of 40 percent.

The companies plan to create nearly 11,000 jobs by opening assembly and battery plants in Stanton, Tennessee, and two additional battery plants in Glendale, Ky., As part of Ford’s previously announced plan to spend more than $ 30 billion by 2030 for electrification, Ford said. The factories at both sites will open in 2025. more

Monday’s announcement is the biggest manufacturing investment in Ford’s 118-year history.

The Tennessee assembly and battery complex will be about three times the size of Ford’s sprawling century-old manufacturing complex in Dearborn, Mich., Lisa Drake, Ford’s North American COO, told Reuters in a statement. interview. She pointed out that there would be room to expand on this site.

“For us this is a very transformative point where we are now putting our capital in place in a very important way to lead the transition to electric vehicles,” said Drake.

The investment share of the US automaker No.2 is $ 7 billion, with SK covering the remainder. The companies will invest $ 5.8 billion in Kentucky and $ 5.6 billion in Tennessee.

The South Korean battery maker, which supplies electric car batteries to Ford Motor and Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) among others, has battery production sites in the United States, Hungary, China and Korea. from South.

With its three additional battery factories and two battery factories in Georgia, SK Innovation is expected to guarantee an annual capacity of approximately 150 gigawatt hours (GWh) of batteries in the United States.

SK Innovation said it plans to exceed the target of achieving an annual global production capacity of 200 GWh of batteries by 2025. Its current capacity stands at 40 GWh.

Shares of SK Innovation rose 3.6% to a nearly two-week high of 260,500 won in morning trading, against the 0.8% decline of KOSPI (.KS11) in the broader market. Ford closed up 2.8% on Monday.

Ford, which plans to launch the F-150 Lightning electric pickup next spring, has moved more aggressively to roll out its electric vehicle strategy under the leadership of Jim Farley, who took over as CEO last October. Earlier this month, Ford doubled its planned production capacity in Dearborn, Mich., For the F-150 Lightning to 80,000 per year due to strong pre-launch demand for the electric pickup. Read more

Ford and other automakers are working hard to prepare for the deployment of electric vehicles, as countries and regions like China and Europe seek to further reduce vehicle emissions.

The planned lithium-ion battery factories build on a memorandum of understanding announced by Ford and SK in May. The battery factories will be jointly owned with SK and will have a combined annual capacity of 129 GWh of batteries, which could power around 2.2 million electric vehicles when fully operational, more than double the level reported in May, a said Drake. The new capacity would be enough to power more than a million electric vehicles. Read more

Ford has previously said its global electric vehicle plan calls for at least 240 GWh of battery cell capacity by 2030, or around 10 factories to be set up in North America, Europe and China. SK has announced plans to increase annual global battery capacity to over 200 GWh by 2025.

TENNESSE MEGA CAMPUS

As part of Monday’s announcement, Ford will build a 3,600-acre “mega campus” in western Tennessee called Blue Oval City that will employ 5,800 people and include the assembly plant, production of lithium batteries. -ion ​​and a fleet of vendors, Drake said. Blue Oval plays the Ford name for its company logo.

The new Tennessee assembly plant will build the next generation of the Lightning, using a dedicated EV platform, after it launches next year, Drake said. The initial Lightning model will be built on a platform heavily derived from the gasoline-powered F-150.

Drake did not disclose the planned production capacity for the Tennessee truck plant.

The site will also include zero waste landfill processes to capture materials and scrap.

In central Kentucky, Ford will build BlueOvalSK Battery Park, employing 5,000 people. The site will consist of twin factories building lithium-ion batteries for Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles, starting in 2025. The second factory will open the following year.

Companies will receive $ 500 million in incentives from Tennessee and nearly $ 300 million as well as over 1,500 acres of land from Kentucky.

The United Auto Workers union, which represents Ford’s hourly workers in the United States, said the automaker has a “moral obligation” to ensure that all battery factory jobs are well-paying union jobs. Drake said it will be determined by the workers, but added that Ford has stressed to SK that it must not be anti-union.

Monday’s announcement builds on Ford’s deal last week to partner with Redwood Materials to form a circular supply chain for electric vehicle batteries, from raw materials to recycling. Redwood will be located at Ford’s Tennessee site. Read more

Ford said Monday it will separately spend $ 525 million over the next five years to fund skills training and career development initiatives for U.S. auto technicians to help them prepare for the switch to electric vehicles. This program begins in Texas, where Ford alone is spending $ 90 million.

Report by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Additional reporting by Heekyong Yang in Seoul; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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