Ford has chosen a plant in Valencia to construct its subsequent technology electrical automobiles in Europe, as the corporate reorganises its operations.
The US automaker chosen the location over a rival facility in Saarlouis, Germany.
The firm plans to solely promote electrical automobiles in Europe by 2030, forward of a deliberate EU ban on the sale of recent petrol and diesel automobiles.
But there might be “significant” job losses as a part of its altering technique, a spokesperson informed Reuters.
Electric automobiles rely extra on automated meeting traces to construct, requiring much less human involvement.
Plants that don’t safe manufacturing orders for electrical automobiles, such because the Saarlouis facility, which employs 4,600 employees, face the specter of closure as soon as an EU ban on the sale of recent petrol and diesel automobiles, deliberate for 2035, comes into power.
Even for the websites that are chosen for electrical car meeting – together with the Valencia plant, which employs 6,000 employees – Ford has warned there’ll nonetheless be staffing cuts.
The firm has a lot of extra crops in Europe, together with in Cologne in Germany, Turkey, and Romania, which have been chosen to provide electrical automobiles.
Ford has promised to take a position $2bn in its Cologne manufacturing facility, the place from subsequent yr it’ll produce electrical automobiles utilizing licensed expertise from Volkswagen.
The web site in Valencia might be chargeable for producing all the Ford automobile fashions that use the corporate’s in-house electrical car expertise.
Historically, Ford has struggled to be worthwhile in Europe, a extremely aggressive automobile market. It has used the motion towards electrical automobiles as a launching pad for a leaner, restructured enterprise within the area.
Ford has already trimmed 12,000 employees from its workforce of greater than 50,000 in Europe.
“Bringing our all-new electric vehicle architecture to Valencia will help us build a profitable business in Europe,” mentioned Stuart Rowley, chairman of Ford’s European division.
Meanwhile, the corporate’s international chief government mentioned Ford’s pivot to electrical automobiles in Europe would require powerful selections.
“The European auto industry is extremely competitive, and to thrive and grow we can never settle for less than unbelievably great products… [and] ultra-lean operations,” mentioned Jim Farley, Ford’s president and chief government.
Sales of electrical automobiles within the UK have soared lately, with extra battery-powered automobiles registered in 2021 than within the earlier 5 years mixed, in line with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Registrations of electrical automobiles rose greater than 75%, from 108,000 in 2020 to 191,000 final yr.
In December, they accounted for one in each 4 automobiles offered, whereas the second-bestselling automobile within the nation throughout the yr was Tesla’s electrical Model 3.