• Ford is investing $1.8 billion CAD to retool its Oakville, ON plant to have it produce EVs.
• Work starts in the spring of 2024 on the 70-year-old facility, which will be rebranded the Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex.
• The plan includes the construction of a new EV battery-pack assembly plant.
Ford has carried through on a promise made back in 2020 during contract negotiations with workers: starting next year, it will retool its complex in Oakville, Ontario to handle assembly of EVs.
The plan is costed at $1.8 billion CAD, and it will include construction of a new EV battery-pack assembly plant (battery cells will be produced, Ford says, at its Kentucky plant). The money is part of Ford’s $50 billion investment plan that carries through to 2026, and that forecast global annual production of two million EVs by that year.
“Canada and the Oakville complex will play a vital role in our Ford+ transformation. It will be a modern, super-efficient, vertically integrated site for battery and vehicle assembly. I’m most excited for the world to see the incredible next-generation electric and fully digitally connected vehicles produced in Oakville.”
- Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO
The transformation of the facility will entail a work stoppage, idling most of its workers starting in Q2 of 2024, and until the plant is ready to ramp up production again late that same year or early in 2025.
During the 2020 contract negotiations, Ford had said the plant would in future handle assembly of five electric models, but there was no confirmation of that in this week’s announcement.
Ford’s Oakville facility currently builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus SUVs, both of which are earmarked for retirement in the coming years. At present, the 487-acre site has buildings totaling 5.4 million sq ft of work space and includes three body shops, one paint building and one assembly building. The new battery-assembly plant will cover 407,000 sq-ft, Ford says.