Ford announced today the selection of its plant in Valencia, Spain as the preferred site to assemble electric vehicles based on a “next-generation electric vehicle architecture.”
It means that Valencia most likely will become another manufacturing site for Ford passenger electric cars in Europe, after Cologne, Germany, which is set to start production in late 2023 (two MEB-based crossover/SUVs) and Craiova, Romania set for 2024 (Ford Puma model). Production of undisclosed EVs in Valencia is expected to start “later this decade.”
“Pending product approval, the Valencia plant could produce breakthrough electric and connected vehicles beginning later this decade.”
In terms of commercial vehicles, Ford has already begun production of the E-Transit in Kocaeli, Turkey, which in the second half of 2023 will be joined by the E-Transit Custom model. In Turkey, the company intends to build also a joint venture lithium-ion battery cell plant, together with SK Innovation’s SK On, and Koç Holding.
The all-electric cargo and passenger versions of the next-generation Transit Courier will be built in Craiova, Romania, starting in 2024 – as listed in a previous report.
Ford EVs in Europe
The main near-term focus for Ford is the plant in Cologne, Germany (the headquarters of its European Model e-business), which is getting a $2 billion boost to convert the plant. It’s expected to produce two MEB-based EVs at a volume as high as 1.2 million over a 6-year period (an average of 100,000 per model per year).
By 2026, Ford would like to sell in Europe some 600,000 electric vehicles annually, as part of over 2 million units globally.
Meanwhile, it remains unknown whether the future of Ford’s Saarlouis plant in Germany will also be electrifying. For now, the site will simply continue to make the Focus model.
“The decision announced today followed the conclusion of comprehensive consultations with teams in Valencia, Spain and Saarlouis, Germany. Ford’s plant in Saarlouis will continue to produce the Ford Focus passenger car, while the company is also evaluating options for future site concepts.”
Ford does not elaborate on the upcoming next-generation EV architecture, which will be used in Europe, besides describing it as “a critical step in the transformation of Ford in Europe to achieve an all-electric future and build a thriving business.”
The move indicates that Ford will rely more on its in-house tech, rather than expanding the use of Volkswagen Group’s group MEB platform in Europe.