Ford accelerates electric car production with UK Government support

UK Export Finance (UKEF) backing worth £600 million will help Ford to expand its electric vehicle production line and deliver on its 2035 net-zero plan.

Ford has doubled its commitment to the UK as its European hub for electric vehicle powertrain production, thanks to £600 million of backing from UK Export Finance, supporting high-skill manufacturing jobs. 

The investment is part of the government’s plans to put the UK at the forefront of European electric car development as the country transitions to net zero.

Ford has received support from UKEF through its Export Development Guarantee (EDG) scheme, which will turbo-charge Ford’s transition towards electrification, expand its manufacturing and export capacity and support continued investment in the UK. 

Citibank Europe PLC was the sole coordinator and agent on the loan to Ford. There were six participant lenders who all have an equal share in the facility.

International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: Our support for Ford is excellent news for jobs in Essex and Merseyside and British manufacturing as a whole. Ford is a significant employer in the UK, and its high-skilled jobs help communities thrive.

‘We have consistently backed Ford as it makes its critical transition towards electrification. Boosting electric car production is key to our strategy to combat climate change. Today’s news demonstrates how our manufacturing industry, exports and economy will benefit from this transition.”

This announcement builds on previous government support for Ford’s EV expansion:

  • July 2020: a £625m UKEF EDG facility (UKEF guarantee on £500m). This helped to finance Ford’s global vehicle research and development headquarters in Dunton, Essex, securing thousands of jobs and supporting the development of electric vehicle technologies.  
  • October 2021: a £230m investment supported by BEIS’ Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF), which aims to electrify Britain’s automotive supply chain and protect our nation’s competitiveness in the global market. This investment funded phase one of the powertrain production line in Merseyside.
  • This further £750m UKEF EDG (UKEF guarantee of £600m) announced today is phase two of Ford’s EV plans. The investment will significantly expand the powertrain production line capacity. It brings the total UKEF-supported financings for Ford to almost £1.4 billion. (£1.1bn guaranteed by UKEF)

Ford is one of the UK’s largest exporters. Engines and transmissions are transported from its facilities in Dagenham and Halewood to twelve countries on five continents. 

Plans in Halewood, Merseyside

The UKEF-backed loan will initially support a £125 million investment to fund phase two of its electric vehicle powertrain manufacturing hub in Halewood, Merseyside, making the North-West a centre of excellence for electric vehicle production in Europe.  

The Halewood plant’s electric powertrain volume is due to increase from 250,000 units to 420,000 units per annum due to the UKEF support. That’s a nearly 70% increase. It will boost the manufacturing capability of the UK, its EV supply chain and UK exports generally. 

Ford estimates the investment will help secure 500 jobs at Halewood.

Plans in Dunton, Essex

The loan will also help protect Ford’s ability to deliver Engineering Services in Dunton, Essex. A vital feature of the UKEF EDG product is that it provides liquidity for Ford to use across their business as required. This liquidity is crucial for Dunton and will enable Ford’s flagship R&D facility to continue to do what it does best:

  • Developing the light commercial vehicle business.
  • Designing new powertrains and vehicles.
  • Piloting new assembly lines for electrified components.
  • Training and upskilling engineers and apprentices to transition from internal combustion engines to battery electric vehicles. 

Ford estimates the investment will secure thousands of jobs at Dunton.

Tim Slatter, Chairman of Ford UK, said: ‘This is an all-important next step for Ford towards having nine EVs on sale within four years. Our UK workforce plays a major role in Ford’s all-electric future, as demonstrated by Halewood’s pivot to a new zero-emission powertrain and Dunton E: PriME’s innovation in finalising the production processes.’