Ford transforming Ontario plant into Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex
Oakville Assembly Complex will be transformed into a high-volume…
April 13, 2023 By Mario Cywinski
Oakville Assembly Complex will be transformed into a high-volume electric vehicle manufacturing hub in Canada, after a $1.8 billion investment by Ford Motor Company.
Ford is set to be the first full-line automaker to announce plans to produce passenger EVs in Canada for the North American market.
“Canada and the Oakville complex will play a vital role in our Ford+ transformation. It will be a modern, super-efficient, vertically integrated site for battery and vehicle assembly,” said Jim Farley, president and CEO, Ford. “I’m most excited for the world to see the incredible next-generation electric and fully digitally connected vehicles produced in Oakville.”
The complex will be renamed to Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex and begin the process of retooling and modernization in the second quarter of 2024. Ford will repurpose and transform existing buildings into a facility that leverages its workforce.
“Ford of Canada has been a leader in the country’s auto industry since it was founded 119 years ago, driven by hard-working, dedicated employees,” said Bev Goodman, president and CEO, Ford of Canada. “As the top-selling auto brand in Canada for 14 straight years, the successful transition to EV production in Oakville will help deliver stable Canadian employment with the opportunity to build the new skills and expertise to drive Ford and the industry forward.”
After its transformation, Oakville will feature a new 407,000 square-foot on-site battery plant, which will utilize cells and arrays from BlueOval SK Battery Park in Kentucky. In turn, workers in Oakville will take these components and assemble battery packs, which will be installed in vehicles assembled on-site.
“Ford’s transformation from gas to electric vehicles is well underway. Once complete, the Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex will secure thousands of well-paying jobs for our hard-working Canadian autoworkers and boost the competitiveness of Canada’s auto sector. The partnership between Ford and Canada helps to position us as a global leader in the EV supply chain for decades to come,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada.
The complex will see production of next-generation EVs beginning in 2025.
“Ford’s investment in retooling its Oakville plant will support thousands of good paying jobs and is an important milestone in our plan to become a leader in the electric vehicle revolution,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Together, with our industry and union partners, we’re building up a world class, home grown electric vehicle supply chain, from mining to manufacturing, so that the vehicles of the future are built right here in Ontario, by Ontario workers.”
Currently, the 487-acre Oakville site has three body shops, one paint building, and one assembly building. It has 3,000 employees, currently build the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus, and has been operating since 1953.
“Ford’s commitment to invest in OAC retooling and upskilling signals a bright future for Canadian EV production and for Canadian auto sector employment,” said Lana Payne, national president, Unifor. “The transformation of the Oakville plant is an important step towards a stronger industry and testament to the hard work, skills and dedication of our Unifor Oakville Assembly Complex members.”
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