Ford Motor Co F along with its South Korean battery partner SK Innovation on Monday revealed plans to spend $11.4 billion to construct three battery plants and an assembly plant for F-series electric trucks in Tennessee and Kentucky, the largest investment in the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker’s history.
What Happened: The massive investment will see the two companies build sites for electric vehicle and battery production that are expected to start in 2025.
Ford will spend $7 billion while SK Innovation will dedicate $4.4 billion to the project that is expected to create 11,000 new jobs — about 6,000 of which will be in Stanton, Tennessee, and 5,000 in Glendale, Kentucky, the two companies said in a statement.
The Stanton site will be named Blue Oval City and house a battery plant and an assembly ecosystem to produce the electric variant of Ford’s F-Series pickup, its most profitable product.
In Kentucky, Ford and SK plan to construct two battery plants. Ford already runs truck and SUV factories in Kentucky.
The automaker said the investments in the new Tennessee and Kentucky battery plants are planned to be made via BlueOvalSK, a new joint venture to be formed by Ford and SK Innovation.
Jim Farley, who will complete a year at the auto company as its chief executive in October, called the latest investment as “our moment – our biggest investment ever” towards making electric vehicles.
The Ford+ plan is in motion.— Jim Farley (@jimfarley98) September 27, 2021
We’re building the largest, most advanced, most efficient auto production complex in @Ford’s 118-year history.
This factory is more than a factory. It’s the future. #BuiltforAmerica pic.twitter.com/Q0WB4ELdoO
Why It Matters: The investments are part of the automaker’s plans to boost spending on electric vehicle development to $30 billion by 2025 under a turnaround plan that it revealed earlier this year. Overall, Ford expects 40% to 50% of its global vehicle volume to be fully electric by 2030.
The development also follows Ford’s recent plans to expand production capacity and add jobs at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan where it is building the electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck that is expected to go on sale next year.
Ford claims the F-150 Lightning has secured 150,000 orders and it is completely sold out in Europe, in the U.S, and in China.
Ford and legacy rival General Motor Co GM have kept aside billions of dollars to switch to a fully electric vehicle ecosystem and attempt to catch up with EV market leader Tesla Inc TSLA and a host of upstart Chinese electric automakers including Nio Inc NIO.
Price Action: Ford shares closed 2.76% higher at $14.16 a share on Monday. The stock was up 4.7% in after-hours trading.
Photo: Courtesy of Ford
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