DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says it will spend $1.34 billion ($1.8 billion Canadian) to convert an SUV factory in suburban Toronto so it can build next-generation electric vehicles.
The roughly 3,000 workers at the plant in Oakville, Ontario, are expected to keep their jobs depending on market conditions, the company said Tuesday. But some production workers will be furloughed during a six-month construction process to begin in the second quarter of 2024.
Ford wouldn't say which models will be built at the 487-acre (197 hectare) site, which will be renamed the Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex. The plant currently builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus gas-powered SUVs.
The company says it will consolidate three body shops into one at the plant, helping to create space to assemble battery cells into packs on site. The lithium-ion cells will come from Ford's planned joint-venture battery complex in Kentucky.
Ford also wouldn't say how many electric vehicles the plant will be able to build per year. The conversion is a step toward Ford's plan to ramp up factories to build EVs at a rate of 2 million per year by the end of 2026.
The company plans to start building EVs at the site that will go on sale in 2025 in North America.