The Blue Oval’s transition to battery electric vehicle production will introduce major changes into the automaker’s everyday operations. It is now working closer with suppliers than ever before in order to secure enough raw materials for batteries, and has formed joint-ventures with firms for EV production, the most notable project being Ford BlueOval City and BlueOval SK. That said, when it comes to EV component production, the company seems to be tweaking its strategy to bring those operations in-house, a strategy that departs from recent practices and one that may end up saving jobs, according to Jim Farley, per Automotive News.
“We’re going back to our model on the Model A in the Rouge (factory) where we insource motors and gear boxes…and equivalent of axles,” Farley said at the 2022 Rainbow Push Automotive Summit in Detroit. “We’ve outsourced to a lot of our tier ones a lot of the powertrain work. That’s going to come in the company. We’re going back to where we were…Why? Because that’s where the value creation is.”
As Ford Authority previously reported, this latest statement reflects a change that has already been happening within the company, as the freshly renamed Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center has shifted from solely producing internal combustion powertrain components to manufacturing electric motors and transaxles for the Ford F-150 Lightning.
Despite this recent statement, it remains unclear if the number of manufacturing jobs at Ford will hold steady. Farley has stated that the company is too big and that its gasoline lineup is too complex. The Saarlouis Assembly plant in Germany and Ford Louisville Assembly plant currently have no products lined up beyond 2025 and 2026, respectively, and the company recently offered buyouts to 3,000 white collar workers in an effort to reduce costs. The automaker is currently spending $50 billion to overhaul its operations to produce at least two millions EVs annually by 2026.