Ford’s £230m investment at Halewood will secure 500 jobs and ‘future proof’ factory

The Liverpool plant will be building electric power units for future Ford vehicles sold in Europe.

Ford Halewood: Image: Ford Europe
Ford Halewood: Image: Ford Europe
Ford Halewood: Image: Ford Europe

Ford has announced an investment of up to £230 million in its Halewood factory to build electric car parts, in a move that should safeguard hundreds of jobs.

The Liverpool plant will be building electric power units for electric passenger and commercial vehicles sold in Europe.

The production of around 250,000 power units a year is expected to begin in mid-2024. Ford said financing the production “will include and be subject to” investment from the government’s Automotive Transformation Fund.

Unite welcomed the news and said the union had been “working behind the scenes” to ensure the jobs of members at Halewood were protected. The investment in electric car parts production at Halewood should save around 500 jobs.

Reaction to Halewood investment plan

Kevin Pearson, Unite convenor for Halewood, said: “We’re delighted the company has decided to make this important investment at Halewood, helping to safeguard Ford jobs at the site into the future.

“The decision recognises the experience, commitment and competitiveness of our world class workforce and is a great source of pride for all of us working at Halewood Transmission Plant and for the wider community.”

President of Ford Europe, Stuart Rowley, said: “This is an important step, marking Ford’s first in-house investment in all-electric vehicle component manufacturing in Europe.

“It strengthens further our ability to deliver 100% of Ford passenger vehicles in Europe being all-electric and two-thirds of our commercial vehicle sales being all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.

“We also want to thank the UK Government for its support for this important investment at Halewood which reconfirms Ford’s continuing commitment to the UK and our position as a leading investor in this country’s auto industry and technological base.”

A ‘boost’ for economic future

Business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said the announcement was a ‘huge vote of confidence in Britain’s economic future and plans to ramp up electric vehicle production’.

“Ford’s decision to build its first electric vehicle components in Europe at its Halewood site is further proof that the UK remains one of the best locations in the world for high-quality automotive manufacturing.

“In this highly competitive, global race to secure electric vehicle manufacturing, our priority is to ensure the UK reaps the benefits.”

He added: “It will future-proof Halewood’s proud industrial heritage and secure high-skilled, well-paid jobs across the North West for years to come.”

What is the electric power unit?

The power unit is the complete all-electric assembly that replaces the engine and transmission in a conventional petrol or diesel engine vehicle.

Ford said Halewood was chosen to supply the power units due to its ‘excellent record on quality, competitiveness and the strong skills base and commitment of the employees’.

Halewood currently builds transmissions for a number of Ford passenger and commercial vehicles and exports 100% of its production.

Ford is one of the UK’s largest exporters, exporting engines and transmissions from its facilities to more than 15 countries on six continents, with overseas sales generating around £2.5 billion annually.