Ford (F) aims to build 500K EV trucks per year at new Tennessee plant

March 24, 2023 8:03 AM EDT
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Ford said Friday that the American automaker plans to build up to 500,000 electric trucks a year at its BlueOval City complex under construction in western Tennessee. Part of the company’s plan to have global EV production capacity of 2 million vehicles a year in place by the end of 2026.

BlueOval City will assemble several versions of Ford’s next-generation F-series electric pickup, which the company calls Project T. The plant will also have a battery plant capable of producing about 40 gigawatt-hours worth of cells — enough to supply up to half a million EVs a year.

Ford said BlueOval City will have a general assembly footprint that is 30% smaller than that of a traditional assembly plant, with a higher production capacity. Most current auto plants are designed to build 250,000-300,000 vehicles a year.

Ford and its battery partner SK On are investing $5.6 billion to develop the BlueOval City complex. Costs associated with developing EV platforms and building EV and battery assembly plants are why Ford is projecting a $3 billion adjusted EBIT loss for this year in its Model e business unit, Ford said.

CFRA’s Garrett Nelson shared his thoughts on Ford’s forecast of a big loss in its EV business this year, and the challenges it faces transitioning to pure EVs in a note to clients on Thursday.

"We think the disclosure from the U.S.'s second best selling EV manufacturer reveals a couple of ugly industry truths: 1) we believe no U.S. automaker is making EVs profitably aside from Tesla and 2) EVs are likely to be a material drag on near- and intermediate-term earnings,” Nelson wrote. “Furthermore, with the U.S. EV market likely to become oversaturated in the near future given the number of new models coming to market, sales volumes could disappoint.”

Shares of F are down 1.40% in pre-market trading on Friday.

By Michael Elkins | [email protected]

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