OAKVILLE, Ont. – Ford Motor Co. has revealed some details of its plan to spend $1.8 billion on its Oakville Assembly Complex to turn it into an electric vehicle production hub.
The automaker said Tuesday that it will start retooling the Ontario complex in the second quarter of 2024 and being producing electric vehicles in 2025.
Ford said the transformation of the Oakville site, to be renamed the Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex, will include a new 407,000 square-foot battery plant where parts produced at its U.S. operations will be assembled into battery packs.
General Motors is already producing electric delivery vans in Canada, but Ford says this is the first time a full-line automaker has announced plans to produce passenger EVs in Canada for the North American market.
“Canada and the Oakville complex will play a vital role in our Ford+ transformation,” said chief executive Jim Farley in a statement.
Ford didn’t specify in the release which models it planned to build at the complex, which currently produces the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus.
The spending plans were first announced in 2020 as part of union negotiations with the company, with workers seeking long-term production commitments and the Detroit Three automakers eventually agreeing to invest in Canadian operations in concert with spending agreements with the Ontario and federal governments.
The two governments agreed to provide $295 million each in funding to secure the Ford investment.
“The partnership between Ford and Canada helps to position us as a global leader in the EV supply chain for decades to come,” said Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne in Ford’s news release.
The Ford spending commitment is just one of many seen in Canada in recent years, most recently with Volkswagen announcing in March it would build its first battery cell plant outside of Europe at a plant in St. Thomas, Ont. The federal government has not yet said how much money it committed to secure the Volkswagen investment.