The company said that it’s going “all in on its electric passenger vehicles,” while its commercial vehicle line-up, which it says is key to ensuring growth and profitability, will be entirely zero-emissions-capable by 2024.
Ford expects two-thirds of its commercial vehicle sales in Europe to be accounted for by PHEV and EV variants by 2030.
The UK government has pledged to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, although some hybrids will be allowed until 2035.
With that deadline on the horizon, Ford has committed $1 billion (£719.4 million) to the renovation of its European headquarters in Cologne, Germany. This investment will result in the existing assembly plant – which currently makes the Fiesta – transformed into the Ford Cologne Electrification Centre, which will produce the company’s “first European-built, volume, all-electric passenger vehicle for European customers” in 2023.
Ford claims the potential to add a second model to the production line at the facility is actively being considered.
“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,” said Ford of Europe president Stuart Rowley. “It underlines our commitment to Europe and a modern future with electric vehicles at the heart of our strategy for growth.
“We will offer an exceptional range of electrified vehicles, supported by customer-centric digital services and experiences, allowing our customers to come with us on the journey to a fully electric future, starting right now with the launch of the all-electric Mustang Mach-E. In combination with our leading commercial vehicle business, this will form the basis of a sustainably profitable Ford business in Europe.”
Ford has been beaten to market by rival manufacturers in several key EV sectors, but its plans for the next decade are wide-ranging. The company is investing $22bn (£15.8bn) in electrification globally – a figure it claims is double that of previous plans.
Its Ford Otosan joint venture in Turkey is designed to deliver “cost-effective vehicle development and sourcing” and it has launched a number of connected services – such as FordPass Pro and Ford Fleet Management – to complement its commercial vehicle operations.
Elsewhere, it has signed a deal with Google to “drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities” – an avenue that most major manufacturers are exploring as cars become ever more connected to the internet.