Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

Will Ford’s plans to scale back EV production impact Blue Oval City?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Ford is planning to cut production of its new F-150 Lightning electric truck in half next year, according to multiple reports.

When asked how that could impact Blue Oval City in west Tennessee, a Ford spokeswoman wrote to FOX13, “We will continue to match production to customer demand.”
However, the mayor of Haywood County assured that the $5.6 billion Blue Oval City will still open in 2025, creating more than eight thousand jobs for the region.
“It’s full steam ahead,” said Mayor David Livingston. “This is transformational. As Bill Ford said to me, ‘This is a revolution, not an evolution.’”
Mayor Livingston told FOX13 he is in constant contact with Ford. He suspects the company’s sizable investment will pay off for decades to come.

“It’s too big to fail – literally,” he said. “You’ve never had a company like Ford Motor Company come to this area and put the stake it’s had in Tennessee. It won’t fail.”

However, electric vehicles are not yet profitable for Ford. According to the company’s third-quarter earnings report, Ford lost $36,000 for every electric vehicle it sold in the quarter.

Livingston estimates that an increasing number of vehicle charging stations combined with a hopeful drop in interest rates will boost sales.

“All of West Tennessee is going to change tremendously and it’s going to happen, ladies and gentlemen,” he said.

Gov. Bill Lee did not respond to FOX13’s request for comment Wednesday on the company’s most recent decision to scale back production.

Last March, FOX13 pressed the governor on whether the thousands of jobs would be here to stay.

“Well, I think that we know the automotive industry is here to stay,” Lee said. “Jobs associated with those are here to stay. We certainly feel good about that.”

When pressed on electric vehicles specifically, Lee said: “The automotive industry – we’re the center of the automotive industry here in Tennessee, whatever that industry looks like. So we’re certain of that.”

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