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Ford delays start of EV manufacturing at Oakville, Ont. plant

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Ford says work to overhaul the plant will begin later this year as planned, but the launch of the new three-row EVs to be produced there won't happen until 2027.

Ford Motor Co. is delaying the start of electric vehicle (EV) production at its assembly plant in Oakville, Ont., by two years.

The U.S. automaker had planned to start production at the Oakville plant, which employs 2,700 workers, in 2025 and is pushing that back to 2027. Ford had announced plans last year to spend $1.8 billion to transform the Oakville plant into a hub for EV manufacturing including vehicle and battery pack assembly. Ford now says work to overhaul the plant will begin in the second quarter of this year as planned, but the launch of the new three-row EVs to be produced at the factory won’t happen until 2027.

In an April 4 news release, Ford officials said that – despite the retiming of the operations at Oakville – the company is continuing to build out an advanced industrial system to produce its next-generation electric vehicles, including greenfield construction and conversion of existing assembly plants.

“By the end of the decade, [we] expect to offer hybrid powertrains across [our] entire Ford Blue lineup in North America,” the release said. “In the first quarter of 2024, [our] electric vehicle sales increased by 86 per cent and hybrid sales rose 42 per cent versus a year ago.”


The delay at the Oakville plant will give the consumer market more time to develop, the company said, and allow for further development of EV battery technology.

Ford president and CEO Jim Farley said the delay at Oakville is a long-term decision. “We value our Canadian teammates and appreciate that this delay will have an impact on this excellent team,” Farley said in the release. “We are fully committed to manufacturing in Canada and believe this decision will help us build a profitably growing business for the long term.”

The Oakville site includes three body shops, one paint building and one assembly building.

Ford has said the planned changes at the site include a new battery plant where workers will assemble parts produced at Ford’s U.S. operations into battery packs that will then be installed in vehicles assembled on-site.

The company’s spending plans were first announced in 2020 as part of union negotiations, with workers seeking long-term production commitments. The Detroit Three automakers eventually agreed to invest in Canadian operations in concert with spending agreements with the Ontario and federal governments.

The two governments agreed to provide $295 million each in funding to secure the Ford investment.

Ford officials said the creation of the BlueOval City campus – Ford’s new advanced auto production complex that includes the Tennessee Electric Vehicle Center assembly plant – is progressing on track. Additionally, Ford continues its expansion of Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake to produce an all-new electric commercial vehicle for Ford Pro customers beginning mid-decade.


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