Ford Motor claims there will be a step forward in its European reorganization with a new commitment to go all-in on its electric passenger vehicles and to substantially increase and electrify its leading commercial vehicle business. By mid-2026, 100% of Ford’s passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, and will be completely all-electric by 2030. Ford’s entire commercial vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024, with two-thirds of Ford’s commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030. (See AutoInformed.com Europe’s F-Series – All-Electric Ford E-Transit Revealed, Ford – EVs Present Environmental, Human Rights Issues)
The news comes after Ford reporting, in the fourth quarter of 2020, finally, a return to profit in Europe and announced it was investing at least $22 billion globally in electrification through 2025, nearly twice the company’s previous EV investment plans. (See AutoInformed.com Ford Motor 2020 Loss $1.3 Billion. Microchip Shortage Looms)
Chasing General Motors, Ford said it would increase its planned investments in electric and autonomous vehicles to more than $22 billion and $7 billion in turn through 2025. GM caught the industry by surprise when it said it would have 30 new EVs globally during roughly that period. It was the latest Ford attempt to appease the capital markets which remain skeptical about the lackluster performance of the Dearborn based automaker. (See AutoInformed.com Environmental About Face – General Motors Ditching Internal Combustion Engines by 2035. Carbon Neutral by 2040?)
“Now we are charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience,” claimed Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe. “We expect to continue our strong momentum this year in Europe and remain on track to deliver our goal of a 6% EBIT margin as part of Ford’s plan to turnaround our global automotive operations.”
Central to Ford’s Europe comeback during the past two years was a $1 billion improvement in structural costs, addressing underperforming markets, the creation of a more targeted vehicle line up within three business groups, and partnerships to increase levels of profitability. In 2020, Ford achieved its sixth successive year as the leading commercial vehicle sales brand in Europe. Growth in Ford’s commercial vehicle business is key to its European profitability, supported by new products and services, working with an extensive network of commercial vehicle converter partners, a strategic alliance with Volkswagen and its Ford Otosan joint venture providing shared-cost vehicle development and sourcing.
Ford claims further growth in the commercial vehicle business will be “an ecosystem built around connected services co-developed with customers and designed to enhance the customer experience and help their businesses to thrive.” These include, for example, connected uptime and productivity services such as FordPass Pro for fleets of up to five vehicles, and the launch of Ford Fleet Management, created by Ford and ALD Automotive last year to maximize productivity for fleet customers seeking bespoke services to keep their fleets on the road.
Ford and Google also recently announced the establishment of a new collaborative group, Team Upshift, to drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities. This first-of-its-kind partnership in combination with Ford’s in-house capabilities will be the basis of transformed ownership experiences and services for both the company’s commercial and passenger vehicle customers. (See AutoInformed.com Setback – Ford Motor and Mahindra End JV Discussions)
Ford Cologne $1 Billion Investment
Leading Ford’s advance into an all-electric future is a new $1 billion investment to modernize its vehicle assembly facility in Cologne, Germany, one of its largest manufacturing centers in Europe and the home of Ford of Europe. The investment will transform the existing vehicle assembly operations into the Ford Cologne Electrification Center for the manufacture of electric vehicles, Ford’s first such facility in Europe.
Ford also confirmed that its first European-built, volume all-electric passenger vehicle for European customers will be produced at Cologne from 2023, with the potential for a second all-electric vehicle built there under consideration.
“Our announcement today to transform our Cologne facility, the home of our operations in Germany for 90 years, is one of the most significant Ford has made in over a generation. It underlines our commitment to Europe and a modern future with electric vehicles at the heart of our strategy for growth,” Rowley said. Additional details of Ford’s electrification plan and the transformation of the Cologne site will be shared over the coming months.
About Ford of Europe
Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 43,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and consolidated joint ventures and approximately 58,000 people when unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 14 manufacturing facilities (10 wholly owned facilities and four unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.