Ford BlueOval City is expected to come online in 2025, and in the lead up to that date, it’s become clear that the upcoming second-generation Ford F-150 Lightning manufacturing plant is already changing life for residents in rural Tennessee. As Ford Authority previously reported, farmers are grappling with offers from the state department of transportation to acquire parcels of their land so a roadway can be built to the plant. A nearby town was facing the threat of being taken over, possibly as a result of the increased importance of the location in the future. And now, Brownsville, a city located near the plant, is already feeling the looming presence of the facility, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
The city, which is 13 miles from the Ford BlueOval City site in Stanton, is expected to significantly grow in the coming years, and fast food chains such as Wendy’s and Taco Bell have already opened new locations there. Additionally, South Korean electric vehicle supplier Enchem is expected to spend $152 million to expand operations in the city so it can supply Ford’s plant with electrolytes for EV batteries, and provide other services as well. The entire project will create 190 new jobs in Brownsville when completed.
The influx of the Ford plant and its related ventures creates a unique problem for the city, as the timetable for its completion is on the horizon. “Because we had a population decline for so many years, we don’t have any new housing development,” said Brownsville Mayor Bill Rawls. “The thing we’re working on now is establishing utility capacity to accommodate this type of growth. We all heard the phrase they build it; they will come. That’s true, but in this case BlueOval is here and they’re coming.”
When Ford BlueOval City comes online in 2025, it will be supplied by BlueOval SK in Kentucky, which will be tasked with building batteries for the next-generation Ford F-150 Lightning. While its campus will host two battery plant buildings, the automaker will only fully operate one of the structures, as anticipated demand for EV pickups may not match what the company previously predicted.