Ford has halted construction on a $3.5 billion EV battery factory with China’s CATL

Ford has halted construction on a $3.5 billion EV battery factory with China’s CATL

Ford has suspended the operations of a $3.5 billion factory that was supposed to manufacture affordable lithium iron phosphate batteries using technology from Chinese company CATL. Due to financial concerns, the company has decided to put the Marshall project on hold and reduce construction expenses until the plant can be run more competitively.

In February 2023, Ford’s subsidiary announced an agreement to manufacture battery cells using CATL’s LFP battery cell knowledge and services. It is unclear if this is a temporary pause or a complete project. The strike affects Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, coinciding with congressional committees investigating the automakers’ licensing agreement with CATL, which they announced in July 2023 following the United Autoworkers’ strike.

Ford plans to invest $3.5 billion in a factory as part of its global electric vehicle investment plan, aiming to deliver 600,000 vehicles by the end of this year and 2 million by 2026, with a total investment of over $50 billion.

The company received $1.7 billion in state incentives to establish a factory in Marshall, Michigan, dubbed BlueOval Battery Park, Michigan. The factory, which will employ 2,500 people, was scheduled to start production in 2026. Residents opposed the project.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer secured the incentives package, pledging to maintain Michigan’s status as a hub for world-class automakers that produce iconic vehicles with the world’s top auto workers. They are actively pursuing deals that benefit working people, bringing supply chains back home and securing record-breaking investment for decades. The company has stated that this is a temporary pause, and it will continue to press for successful negotiations between the Big Three and the UAW to allow Michiganders to resume their jobs.

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