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Business News/ Auto News / Ford pauses construction on $3.5 billion EV battery plant in Michigan, says ‘no final decision made’
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Ford pauses construction on $3.5 billion EV battery plant in Michigan, says ‘no final decision made’

Ford pauses construction of $3.5bn battery plant in Michigan amid strike and scrutiny of Chinese partner.

The decision by Ford puts around 2,500 hundred jobs at risk. (REUTERS)Premium
The decision by Ford puts around 2,500 hundred jobs at risk. (REUTERS)

Ford has said it is pausing construction of $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan amid an ongoing strike and scrutiny of its Chinese partner by Republican lawmakers. However, a Ford spokesperson said that decision on the $3.5 billion battery plant was not related to the ongoing strike but the plant's economic viability, reported AFP.

Also Read| Strike threat looms: Ford, GM and Stellantis remain at odds with UAW demands

TR Reid, a Ford spokesman while making the announcement said, “We’re pausing work and limiting spending on construction on the Marshall project until we’re confident about our ability to competitively operate the plant…We haven’t made any final decisions about the plant investment there."

The proposed plant by Ford near Marshall, Michigan was expected to employ around 2,500 workers and produce enough batteries to power around 400,000 electric vehicles a year. 

Ford had announced the Michigan plant in February this year as a way to diversify its battery profile from the nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) that are costly to produce owing to raw material scarcity. Ford had said that it will work with its Chinese partner Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. to manufacture lithium iron phosphate batteries from 2026 onwards. 

However, Amperex has been accused by some Republican lawmakers of being affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, reported Bloomberg. 

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Union Strikes and closure of pausing of Ford's battery plant:  

The announcement about the $3.5 billion also comes amidst talks with United Auto Workers union that wants to represent workers at Ford's battery factories and win them top wages, reported Reuters. 

Also Read| Ford CEO says company ‘can go bankrupt if…’ responding to workers strike for better pay

UAW, which represents around 57,000 hourly Ford workers in the US, has been on strike against Ford, General Motors and Stellantis since September 15. The Union had initially targeted one vehicle assembly plant from each of the automakers and later expanded the the strike to parts warehouses. 

In a post on X, UAW President Shawn Fain said “This is a shameful, barely-veiled threat by Ford to cut jobs… Closing 65 plants over the last 20 years wasn’t enough for the Big Three, now they want to threaten us with closing plants that aren’t even open yet."


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Updated: 26 Sep 2023, 07:54 AM IST
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