Ford is cutting back on its plans for a new electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Michigan, significantly reducing the number of jobs it plans to offer as well as the site’s overall production capacity.
Although Ford has resumed work on building the site after halting construction in September, the scope of the automaker’s Marshall EV battery facility is being reduced substantially, according to a report from Detroit Free Press. The company says it plans to reduce the number of jobs at the location by about 800, cutting about $1 billion in investment out of its initial plans.
The move is also expected to decrease production capacity at the facility by around 40 percent.
Originally, Ford promised the site would employ 2,500 workers and would gain a $3.5 billion investment, as the company stated earlier this year. The company also expected the site to produce 35 GWh of batteries per year, or enough for around 400,000 vehicles. Now, Ford plans to produce 20 GWh per year for a 42 percent decrease in output capacity, which is enough for roughly 230,000 vehicles.
According to Ford spokesperson Mark Truby, the reduction in planned jobs and production will also likely result in cuts to the $1.8 billion promised by the state.
“We’ve been studying this project for the past couple of months,” Truby said. “I think we’re all aware EV adoption is growing, and we expect that to continue, actually. But it’s not growing at the pace that I think ourselves and the industry had expected.”
“We want to be really disciplined about how we allocate capital and think about matching production and future capacity based on demand,” Truby added.
Truby didn’t share how much Ford was planning to cut from its initial $3.5 billion investment, though he did say it was correlated with the decrease to production capacity. At a 42 percent decrease, the investment would be brought down to $2 billion for a total cut of around $1.5 billion.
The news comes as claims of slowed EV demand have been circulating around the auto industry, with Ford itself set to hold off on building a battery cell plant in Turkey as officials have cited the slow pace of adoption. Ford last month said it was postponing around $12 billion in EV investments, which Truby notes the company was attempting to correct.
“We’re making some strategic decisions, and this would be just another one of those where we’re moving forward. But we’re trying to kind of right-size the investment and the footprint,” he said.
“There were a number of factors. Obviously, it helps to have some certainty around, you know, we’re no longer in a strike situation and we understand what our labor costs are going to be, by and large.”
The news also comes after Ford, General Motors (GM) and Stellantis faced historic six-week strikes from the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. Earlier this month, the automakers came to tentative agreements with the UAW to end the strikes, and each company has since ratified the new contracts, which will be in place through April 2028.