US car maker Ford (F) will spend $1bn (£720m) on an electric car factory in Germany as part of plans to make only electric passenger vehicles in Europe by 2030.
Ford said on Wednesday it would "go all-in on its electric passenger vehicles," pledging to make all of its European cars zero-emission, electric or hybrid by 2026. The European business will produce only electric passenger vehicles by 2030.
Ford said it would also "substantially grow and electrify its leading commercial vehicle business." It is hoping two thirds of commercial vehicle sales will be electric or hybrid by 2030.
"We successfully restructured Ford of Europe and returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020," Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe, said in a statement. "Now we are charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience."
Ford has pledged to spend $22bn readying itself for the electric car revolution and on Wednesday announced plans to build a $1bn electrification factory in Cologne, Germany.
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“Our announcement today to transform our Cologne facility, the home of our operations in Germany for 90 years, is one of the most significant Ford has made in over a generation," Rowley said. "It underlines our commitment to Europe and a modern future with electric vehicles at the heart of our strategy for growth."
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The move towards electric follows a political push across Europe Last year, the UK announced a ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2030 as part of the country's ambitious green plans. Norway has announced a similar ban and the European Union is discussing similar plans.
Ford's investment in Germany follows a painful restructure for the European business, which had been loss making. In 2019, Ford announced plans to cut 12,000 workers in Europe and close six of its 24 factories. The European business returned to profitability at the end of last year.
"We expect to continue our strong momentum this year in Europe and remain on track to deliver our goal of a six percent EBIT margin as part of Ford’s plan to turnaround our global automotive operations," Rowley said.
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