According to the US CNBC report, Ford Motor announced this week that it will restart its plan to build an electric vehicle battery factory in Michigan in cooperation with CATL. Ford said in February this year that it would produce lithium iron phosphate batteries at the plant, but announced in September that it would suspend construction. Ford said in its latest statement that it confirmed that it will advance the project and will reduce the scale of production capacity taking into account the balance between investment, growth and profitability.
According to the plan announced by Ford in February this year, the new battery plant in Marshall, Michigan, will have an investment of US$3.5 billion and an annual production capacity of 35 gigawatt hours. It is expected to be put into production in 2026 and plans to employ 2,500 employees. However, Ford said on the 21st that it would cut production capacity by about 43% and reduce expected jobs from 2,500 to 1,700. Regarding the reasons for downsizing, Ford Chief Communications Officer Truby said on the 21st, “We considered all factors, including the demand for electric vehicles, our business plan, product cycle plan, affordability, etc., to ensure that we can move from this To obtain sustainable business in every factory.” Truby also said that he is very optimistic about the development of electric vehicles, but the current growth rate of electric vehicles is not as fast as people expected. Truby also said the battery plant is still on track to start production in 2026, despite the company suspending production at the plant for about two months amid negotiations with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.
“Nihon Keizai Shimbun” stated that Ford did not disclose whether the changes in this series of plans were related to the trends in Sino-US relations. US media reported that Ford has attracted criticism from some Republican lawmakers due to its relationship with CATL. But industry experts agree.
The website of the US “Electronic Engineering Issue” magazine stated on the 22nd that industry experts said that Ford is building a multi-billion dollar super factory in Michigan with CATL to produce electric vehicle batteries, which is a “necessary marriage.” Tu Le, head of Sino Auto Insights, an automotive industry consulting company based in Michigan, believes that if U.S. automakers want to produce electric vehicles that ordinary consumers can afford, cooperation with BYD and CATL is crucial. It’s important. He said, “The only way for traditional American automakers to make low-priced cars is to use Chinese batteries. From a capacity and manufacturing perspective, they will always be ahead of us.”
Post time: Nov-24-2023