Ford has confimed its entire commercial vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable, electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024, with two-thirds of Ford’s commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.
The announcement is part of its new strategy to sell only electric cars in Europe by 2030, with all Ford cars sold in the continent by 2026 expected to be zero-emissions capable.
Spearheading Ford’s advance into an all-electric future is a new $1 billion (£720m) investment to modernise its vehicle assembly facility in Cologne, Germany, one of its largest manufacturing centres in Europe.
The investment will transform the existing vehicle assembly operations into the Ford Cologne Electrification Center for the manufacture of electric vehicles, Ford’s first such facility in Europe.
“We successfully restructured Ford of Europe and returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020. Now we are charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe.
“We expect to continue our strong momentum this year in Europe and remain on track to deliver our goal of a six percent EBIT margin as part of Ford’s plan to turnaround our global automotive operations,” he added.
In 2020, Ford achieved its sixth successive year as the best-selling commercial vehicle brand in Europe. Growth in Ford’s strong commercial vehicle business is key to its European profitability, supported by new products and services, working with an extensive network of commercial vehicle converter partners, with Ford’s strategic alliance with Volkswagen and its Ford Otosan joint venture providing cost-effective vehicle development and sourcing.
Driving further growth in the commercial vehicle business will be an ecosystem built around connected services co-developed with customers and designed to enhance the customer experience and help their businesses to thrive. These include, for example, connected uptime and productivity services such as FordPass Pro for fleets of up to five vehicles, and the launch of Ford Fleet Management, created by Ford and ALD Automotive last year to maximize productivity for fleet customers seeking bespoke services to keep their fleets on the road.
Ford and Google also announced recently the establishment of a new collaborative group, Team Upshift, to drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities. This first-of-its-kind partnership in combination with Ford’s in-house capabilities will be the basis of transformed ownership experiences and services for both the company’s commercial and passenger vehicle customers.
Alongside the existing Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid, the brand will launch a fully-electric Transit next year.