In 2021, Ford Motor Company announced that it would invest $30 billion toward electrification by 2025 to lead America’s shift to electric vehicles with a new and more powerful lineup of EVs. During the first phase of the shift, Ford has announced a new multi-billion EV manufacturing facility in Stanton, Tennessee, which will be the baseline of production for the future generation of the popular F-Series trucks and the batteries to power them.
So what about Ford’s EV Mega Campus’s impact on the auto industry, local job market, and the economy?
A Deeper Dive into Ford’s Electrification Initiative through the BlueOval City
In May 2021, Ford and SK Innovation established a joint venture called BlueOvalSK to produce 60 GWh of energy and locally manufactured batteries for electric vehicles. This joint venture is investing $5.6 billion on Ford’s EV Mega Campus called the BlueOval City, which is set to create employment opportunities for nearly 6,000 people in Stanton, Tennessee. This strategic move also sets the campus site close to Ford’s e-motor and battery assembly plant in Rossville, Tenessee, which in return can reduce logistics and supply chain expenditure.
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The BlueOval City will enable Ford to assemble an expanded fleet of EVs through a vertically integrated ecosystem with key suppliers and plants all in the vicinity. More importantly, Ford’s new EV Mega Campus is designed to be carbon neutral with zero waste to the landfill upon the commencement of operations. Bill Ford, a senior executive at Ford, claims that this facility is a game-changer for the EV industry. He added that Ford’s transition to electric vehicles would usher in a new era of carbon-neutral manufacturing, enabling others to help protect our planet using innovation.
One of the main reasons for this initiative going forward is the success of current Ford’s electric vehicles, including the Ford F-150 Lightning truck, the Mustang Mach-E, and E-Transit. The positive market response enabled Ford to expand production capacity in all its plants in the country before finally making its biggest investment ever. The $7 billion the company has spent is the larges one-time manufacturing investment made by any company in the US automotive industry. Furthermore, following Tennessee’s $884 million approval, Ford expects 40-50% of its American vehicle volume to be fully electric by 2030.
Ford evaluated several sites for BlueOval City before picking the one in Stanton, Tennessee, due to its relatively lower energy costs and minimal environmental issues at the location. While Tesla may have helped supercharge the EV trends nearly a decade ago, Ford’s reputation in the American market, thanks to a diversified vehicle line up, could enable it to grab more shares in the market since brands like Mercedes-Benz, GM, and Toyota are still yet to build battery factories to expand their lineups.
Ford’s Impact on the Local Job Market
The BlueOval City aims to be Ford’s largest, most advanced, carbon-neutral automation production in its history. It will include an assembly unit, a battery manufacturing plant, and a supplier park, all interconnected to create an integrated ecosystem. This move will increase US employment in the clean energy and automotive sector, especially with other brands like Audi, Volvo, GM, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota aiming to join the mix in the future.
As mentioned above, BlueOval City will offer about 6,000 jobs and 21,000 indirect jobs connected to the battery and EV assembly facilities. The mega project is expected to have a tremendous impact on the Tennessee job market when it officially opens for business, creating opportunities for administrators, engineers, production employees, managers at different levels, and logistics workers. In a nutshell, the different employee types will make Ford’s EV Mega Campus run smoothly. The project is also expected to generate thousands of temporary jobs for the plant’s construction to generate nearly $1.87 billion in salaries before the finalization.
To Wrap Up
Ford is rapidly taking advantage of the shift toward electrification. With this large-scale investment, it could become the market leader in the EV industry, considering the popularity of its trucks and sports vehicles in most parts of the country, especially Texas and Tennessee. To speed up the adoption, Ford is investing millions in different states to train the next generation of technicians and salespeople.
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