Ford to build new plants in Tennessee, Kentucky in $11 billion investment in electric vehicles

Written By: Phoebe Wall Howard|Detroit Free Press

F-150 Lightning Ford TruckFord Motor Co. announced plans to invest $11 billion to build several new plants to produce parts for electric vehicles, creating nearly 11,000 jobs.

This company will pay for a new assembly plant to build all-electric F-Series trucks and three battery plants, including factories in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Ford had already announced an investment over the past two years of $950 million in the Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan, to build the all-electric 2022 F-150 Lightning.

Bringing the battery supply chain to the U.S. insulates Ford from being held hostage by battery shortages the way the industry has been kneecapped by the global semiconductor chip shortage.

Two battery plants will be built in Glendale, Kentucky. A battery plant and the truck assembly plant will be built in Stanton, Tennessee. It all pencils out to 5,000 jobs in Kentucky and 5,800 jobs in Tennessee.

The investment includes $7 billion from Ford and about $4.4 billion from its joint venture with battery partner SK Innovation of South Korea, Ford said.

Where batteries are made, and where they’re shipped, will be key to automakers’ strength in coming years. China is positioned to be a superpower. Companies in the U.S. want a secure, local supply chain. General Motors has also taken steps in this direction, as have other competitors in the industry.

“This is a really important strategic bet to insource these key components. It won’t be the last,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said in an interview Monday.

Farley said the company is positioned to truly compete in the all-electric arena.

“Are we ahead or behind? This announcement puts us ahead. We already have sold out of our first generation of electric vehicles and we’re dealing with that capacity issue now,” Farley said.

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