Ford Europe confirmed that its plant in Valencia, Spain, will be the preferred site to assemble electric vehicles based on next-generation electric vehicle architecture, marking a significant step toward an all-electric future. Assuming the Valencia plant receives the necessary product approvals, groundbreaking electric and connected vehicles could be manufactured there by the decade's end.
Ford will invest $2 billion to convert its operations in Cologne, Germany, to produce electric vehicles beginning in 2023. In addition, Ford plans to expand its leadership in the commercial segment with electric Ford Pro vehicles and connected services. It also plans to release an electric version of the famous Ford Puma as part of its European strategy. Ford's goal for Europe's annual EV sales is 600,000 by 2026.
As part of the Ford+ strategy, "we are committed to building a vibrant, sustainable business in Europe," said Jim Farley, Ford's president and chief executive officer. To survive and grow in the European auto industry, which is notoriously cutthroat, you need "unbelievably great products," "delightful customer experience," "ultra-lean operations," and "a talented and motivated team," among other things.
The European Parliament voted earlier this month to set new CO2 targets for light-duty vehicles, requiring all recent sales to be 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035. Nevertheless, electric vehicle sales across the continent continue to increase (up 65% to 2.3 million in 2021).
"We are accelerating our transformation in Europe, reimagining how we do business, and building a future where amazing vehicles and relentless focus on customer experience go hand in hand with protecting our planet," said Stuart Rowley, Ford Motor Company.
Bringing Ford's brand-new electric vehicle architecture to Valencia will allow the company to expand its operations in Europe, create high-paying jobs, attract more customers and supply our European customers' growing need for premium electric, high-performance, fully-connected vehicles.
After lengthy discussions with groups in Valencia, Spain, and Saarlouis, Germany, Ford's decision was announced. Ford's Saarlouis plant will keep cranking out Focus sedans while the automaker mulls over future site concepts.