Tech

The $5.6 billion epicenter of Ford’s EV effort is now under construction


Ford on Friday opened its $5.6 billion BlueOval City complex in Tennessee, the epicenter of its future electric vehicles and a key step toward its goal of selling 2 million electric vehicles a year by the end of 2026. .

BlueOval City is expected to begin building advanced batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles in 2025, including the F-150 Lightning and a second battery-electric pickup.

The automaker calls BlueOval City its “largest and most advanced automotive production complex” in the company’s 119-year history. Overall, the $11.4 billion joint venture with South Korean battery maker Sk On will create about 6,000 jobs at the new six-square-mile mega campus near Memphis, Tennessee, as well as in twin battery factories in Glendale, Kentucky.

“This facility is the blueprint for future Ford manufacturing facilities and will allow Ford to help lead America’s transition to electric vehicles,” Eric Grubb, director of new footprint construction at Ford, said in a statement.

Ford and its construction partners began preparing the ground in March, so far moving enough earth to fill 34,500 backyard pools, laying enough tons of stone to build the Statue of Liberty 1,600 times , according to the company.

The automaker’s stock price fell 15% this week after it announced on Monday that supplier costs would be $1 billion higher in the third quarter than expected due to rising inflation and ongoing problems. of the supply chain. The shares were trading at $12.30 at 10 a.m. ET Friday, down from $14.50 when the market opened Monday.

Ford also said continued shortages of vehicle parts will bottleneck up to 45,000 unfinished vehicles — mostly high-margin trucks and SUVs — at its plants through September. Still, the automaker reaffirmed its full-year guidance of $11.5 billion to $12.5 billion for earnings before interest and taxes, due to pent-up demand for vehicles produced in the fourth quarter.

On Thursday, Ford announced leadership changes as part of the scaling of Ford Model e, the autonomous electric vehicle business unit created in March to support the automaker’s $50 billion investment in the electrification and vehicle technology to 2026.

Doug Field has been named director of advanced product development and technology, overseeing EV products, advanced driver assistance and software and digital systems development, as well as vehicle hardware design and engineering.

Lisa Drake, vice president of electric vehicle industrialization, will lead manufacturing engineering. Chuck Gray, vice president of EV technology at Ford, is now responsible for vehicle hardware engineering.

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