Ford says it will spend $1 billion to modernise its manufacturing centre in Cologne, Germany, turning it into a plant for European electric vehicles.
In 2023, the factory will build an unspecified electric passenger vehicle, and in the future it could build a second one, the company said Wednesday.
Ford vowed to sell all passenger cars in Europe fully electric or plug-in gas-electric models by 2024, with all European vehicles going full electric by 2030. The company also projected that by 2030, two thirds of its European sales of commercial vehicles will be electric or plug-in hybrids.
In a statement, through its partnership with Volkswagen and Ford’s Otosan joint venture in Turkey, the company said commercial vehicles are the key to growth and profitability in Europe, with new products and services.
The investment to be made by 2025 is one of the most important Ford investments in more than a decade and “underlines our dedication to Europe and a modern future,” President Stuart Rowley of Ford of Europe said in the release.
Ford said the investment in the Cologne factory, which employs just over 4,000 employees, comes after returning to profit in the fourth quarter of 2020 from its European operations.
The investment is part of Ford’s target of investing at least $22 billion from 2016-2025 on electric vehicles.