Ford Motor Company has stopped production at a battery plant for electric vehicles (EV) located in Marshall, Michigan, in which it has invested $3.5 billion. One of the most important automobile factories in the world has made this decision so that they can "operate competitively."
"We are pausing work and limiting spending on construction of the Marshall project until we are confident in our ability to competitively operate the plant," Ford Motor Company said in statements reported by Reuters.
The plant is scheduled to be inaugurated in 2023. Although Ford Motor Company assured that it has absolute control of the entire operation, the company said that it will hire the services of the Chinese manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) to use its technological resources.
Ford Motor Company and the sector strike
The initiative of the company based in Dearborn (Michigan), occurs in the midst of a strike by workers in the automobile sector, including those at Ford Motor Company and other factories such as GM and Stellantis. The union that represents him, the United Auto Workers (UAW), has intensified its protests in recent days after failing to make serious progress in its negotiations with the motor companies, it said.
The UAW demands that its members - about 13,000 - earn the same salary as what other workers in the sector receive. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer assured that "we will continue to push so that the negotiations between the big three and the UAW are successful and Michiganders can get back to work doing what they do best."
Just across the northern border, the Ford Motor Company managed to reach an agreement with Unifor, the organization that represents some 18,000 workers in Canada. This is how they prevented their employees from joining the strike called by the UAW.
Multimillion-dollar losses from EV production
The production of electric vehicles has caused multimillion-dollar damage to one of the world's largest manufacturers. Ford Motor Company announced a year-to-date loss of $2.8 billion - including the $1.8 billion it lost in the second quarter - from its electric division called Ford Model e. Or, in other words, about $32,000 for each of these supposedly less polluting models. It sold only 61,575 EVs.
As indicated in its 2023 financial results report, the Michigan-based multinational indicated that it expects much higher total losses in the current fiscal year. "To be a loss of about $4.5 billion for Ford Model e, reflecting the pricing environment, disciplined investments in new products and capacity, and other costs," they said in a statement.