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Chinese Government To Review Ford EV Battery Deal With CATL

The newly announced Ford EV battery plant – officially known as BlueOval Battery Park Michigan – has been the subject of much controversy, which began long before the automaker chose Marshall as the location for its latest such facility. This largely boils down to the fact that Ford is collaborating with Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) on the project, which will license its lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery technology to the automaker, though FoMoCo will own and operate the plant. This is precisely why Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin rejected the idea of erecting this facility in his state, while just yesterday, Senator Marco Rubio called for the U.S. to review the deal between Ford and CATL, too. Now, according to Bloomberg, it seems as if the Chinese government wants to conduct its own review as well.

Ford BlueOval Battery Park Michigan Annoucement

China reportedly wants to ensure that CATL isn’t handing over its core technology to The Blue Oval as part of this new deal between the two companies, as the former is simply set to license its battery tech to the new Ford EV plant. Government officials are reportedly concerned that Ford will be granted access to the more competitive aspects of CATL’s LFP technology.

Given the rising tensions between the U.S. and China, Chinese officials have asked that this deal be scrutinized further, after which the findings of that query will be shared with top brass. According to the report, it’s unlikely that the deal between the two entities – which has already been reviewed by lower-level officials – would be nixed, regardless.

Ford BlueOval Battery Park Michigan Annoucement

Production at the $3.5 billion dollar BlueOval Battery Park Michigan – which will be the very first LFP battery plant in the U.S. – is slated to begin in 2026, adding 35 gigawatt hours per year of new battery capacity and upwards of 2,500 new jobs, with room to grow in the future as well.

We’ll have more on Ford BlueOval Battery Park soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Rich

    The US has been “giving away” its technology for years, now the shoe is on the other foot. This will culminate in a war if it continues.

    Reply
  2. Chris Blanchard

    Ha! The pot calling the kettle black.

    Reply
  3. David Dickinson II

    Robert, where are you? You said that, if anything, Ford was going to get China’s IP out of the deal. I guess the CCP was surveilling your comments. You’ve created an international incident!

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      LoL. I’m sure brighter minds than mine already realized this and that this deal was already scrutinized and approved by Beijing.

      My take is this is high profile retaliation for downing of their balloon off SC.

      They’ll try to look tough, or extract some concession, but in the end the deal will go thru because Ford could pivot to two other suppliers if China pulls the plug.

      China realizes that foregoing money today to slow down others doesn’t really pay out for commodity things like batteries. So unless irrationality prevails this is just a tempest in a teapot.

      Ps guess my giving away this secret burnishes my credibility about not being a ford payee.

      Reply
      1. Mike says...

        I agree.
        Now everyone will know that Marco Rubio and the Chinese play for the same team!
        I do maintain that Government has NO place in business at any level with the only exception being ‘wartime’ production footing and capabilities.

        Reply
        1. RWFA

          Can’t agree Mike.

          Without the people setting civil, regulatory and criminal boundaries for business endless bad things happen.

          Even the Deuce admitted Ford wouldn’t have moved on things without regulation.

          He (and the other Big-3 honchos) kept trying to raise the spectre that clean air and water, safety, crashability, airbags, emissions, lead free, fuel economy, etc. would make cars unaffordable. He/they were wrong at every turn and cars have been tremendously better because of them.

          If the D3 had only invested in these things and quality instead of fighting, they would have raised a barrier to entry that few foreign makers would have surmounted.

          Reply
  4. Racer76

    Bad business is twice as bad as no business. Bringing a Chinese battery company to Michigan falls into this arena. There will be fallout if this happens.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Your second and final conclusion are built on what? Hand waving?

      Would be interesting to hear your arguments in justification of them.

      Otherwise they aren’t really different from knee jerk speculation.

      Reply
  5. Michael J Genzale

    Any deal with the Chinese or a Chinese company is dicy. One must first remember that China is still a communist/socialist country. Foreign companies VW, GM, MB that build plates in China must accept a Chinese company as a partner. Which is to say the regime is there partner. They accept the risk to have a part of the market.
    Go into a store. Pick up most anything from a trinket to an auto part or a child’s toy. “Made in China”.
    Allowing China into this country be it stand alone or with a domestic partner is short sighted.

    Reply
  6. blksn8k

    I’m retired from a company that tried doing joint ventures with Chinese companies. The only things we got out of that were stolen IP and a bad reputation due to the piss-poor quality of Chinese manufactured products with our name on them. If I were Ford I would run far and fastly from any deal with the communist Chinese.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Not knowing the specific nature of your industry, company, or product it’s hard to make a specific reply, but what we’ve seen regarding China JV or sub sourcing is the contract and performance have to be tightly controlled (we’ve seen this with other global suppliers too.)

      Management that doesn’t go into offshoring with this in mind and practice can end up with the results your company seems to have encountered. This is only the fault of the management who see the cost reduction side of things while not budgeting for the resources to achieve and keep that on track.

      We know bad results are not a universal given as we see the tech industry, and many consumer goods manage this very well.

      Reply
    2. 19natejlm

      That is why apple is totally bankrupt , not. Comes from JV with chinese companies.

      Reply

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