Mike Colias of The Wall Street Journal tells his readers that Ford has restarted the construction of a battery plant it paused back in September, but downsized the scope of the project. He writes:
Ford Motor F 0.20%increase; green up pointing triangle is moving forward on construction of a battery plant in Michigan but at a reduced size from original plans, citing a pullback in the outlook for future electric-vehicle demand.
Ford in September paused work on the factory, in Marshall, Mich. At the time, the company said it was reassessing its ability to competitively operate the plant, which will make batteries using technology from China’sContemporary Amperex Technology Co. 300750 -2.00%decrease; red down pointing triangle Congressional Republicans have criticized the China connection and argued against the project qualifying for federal tax subsidies.
On Tuesday, Ford said it has resumed work at the site, but downsized the scope of the project, with plans to produce roughly 40% fewer batteries than originally planned. It now expects to employ about 1,700 workers at the facility when the plant opens, scheduled for 2026, down from about 2,500. […]
Ford’s move to halt work on the plant in September came during the United Auto Workers strike and drew criticism from UAW President Shawn Fain, who called it a threat to cut jobs. A spokesman on Tuesday declined to comment on Ford’s decision to resume the project at a reduced scale.
Ford and other automakers have cited the need to offer more-affordable EVs to entice buyers. Ford executives have said the use of the less-expensive LFP batteries would allow it to offer more-competitive prices and ultimately sell more electrics.
“With our LFP batteries, we’ll have the lowest or one of the lowest-cost batteries assembled in the U.S.,” Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley told analysts in September.
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