Ford is examining factory sales in Germany to BYD, heralding a new era for electric vehicles

ford is considering selling its production facility in Germany to an electric vehicle manufacturer BYDwhich is a big step for Chinese-made electric vehicles.

As Ford shuts down production The automaker plans to divest its once-best-selling Ford Focus at its Saarlouis manufacturing facility in Germany to focus on electric vehicles.

according to a new report of the Wall Street Journal, Ford’s plant may go to China’s largest electric vehicle maker BYD. BYD, or “Build Your Dreams,” produced its last internal combustion vehicle in 2022 to shift its focus towards electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

The leading Chinese EV manufacturer has rapidly expanded its network, start a market experiment in Norway in 2020, launching its European campaign and announcing plans to sell electric vehicles in Japan.

BYD aspires to become a global leader in electric vehicles with a growing European presence. The company announced that it would start selling Electric vehicles in Germany and Sweden by the end of 2022, expanding to the UK, France and other key markets this year.

Before the end of the year, BYD confirmed plans to build at least one manufacturing facility (maybe two) in Europe to support expansion and enable it to become a global EV powerhouse.

Ford BYD Plant
BYD ATTO 3 (Source: BYD)

BYD is negotiating the purchase of the German Ford plant

As discussions between Ford and BYD heat up, Germany could become the next home for its EV manufacturing presence. the WSJ reported on Tuesday that “Ford management officials in Germany plan to travel to China next week to discuss the possible sale of a Saarlouis plant.”

Talks are still in the early stages and the deal may not go through. According to the report, BYD was among around 15 potential investors.

Meanwhile, Ford has committed to an all-electric lineup in Europe by 2035, but as the company adjusts its electric-vehicle manufacturing strategy, it has engaged in several rounds of layoffs.

Last summer, Ford Cut 8,000 jobs after CEO Jim Farley said the automaker had too many employees and needed to downsize. More recently Ford of Europe 2,500 to 4,000 jobs in product development announced could be in jeopardy, particularly in Germany and the UK, as it shifts away from internal combustion vehicles and towards electric vehicles like the one Mustang Mach-E.

Electrek’s take

Although BYD’s sales are primarily focused in China, the automaker is rapidly expanding its network. An electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Germany would be a big step for Chinese electric vehicles, but domestic automakers may not be enthusiastic.

In response, European automakers are accelerating their EV strategies. Volkswagen led the region, Delivery of 330,000 electric vehicles worldwide in 2022, followed by BMW (215,755 deliveries) and Mercedes-Benz (total 117,800 EV deliveries).

To maintain its lead, Volkswagen is brings back the former Bentley and Audi Boss who, as chief designer of the Volkswagen brand, accompanied the market launch of the e-tron.

With the increasing demand for electric vehicles, the industry is undergoing significant changes. Older automakers are transitioning from ICE to EVs, while EV makers are ramping up production as quickly as possible.

A BYD investment in the German Ford plant could further shake the industry. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about the final details.

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