Ford Motor Co F reopened its assembly plant in Cologne as the Ford Cologne Electric Vehicle Center on Monday.
What Happened: The plant will be the automaker’s first carbon-neutral plant worldwide with about 1400 robots and smart machines working alongside people.
“We’ve built nearly 18M vehicles at our assembly plant in Cologne since 1931,” said CEO Jim Farley while adding that it is the start of a new electric era for Ford in Europe.
“With our $2 billion dollar investment, the team here in Cologne will build the next generation of Ford EVs in Europe and that starts with building the new electric Ford Explorer right here on the river Rhine,” Executive Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. said at the re-opening event. Production of the Explorer is expected to commence later this year.
The plant will also offer battery assembly and tooling and automation and enable the annual production of 250,000 vehicles.
Why It Matters: In May, it was reported that the automaker is targeting a two million EV production run rate by 2026, up from an expected 600,000 in 2023.
However, in the first quarter, the Ford Model E segment, which develops electric vehicles, saw revenue drop 27% to $700 million. Further, the segment is expected to report a loss this year.
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