BlueOval City will assemble the Lightning, the all-electric version of the next-generation F-Series pickup truck, as well as other Ford and Lincoln EVs. A Korean company, SK On, will manufacture EV batteries at a separate plant within the complex.
Ford launches construction of BlueOval City, the automaker’s $5.6 billion factory complex outside Memphis, TN.
The complex will produce the Lightning, the all-electric version of the next-generation F-Series pickup truck, as well as other Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles. A separate plant building EV batteries will be operated by a Korean company, SK On.
BlueOval City will create 6,000 jobs and is on track to open in 2025.
The official groundbreaking for the new complex comes less than a year after Ford announced what it described as the most advanced auto production complex in the company’s long history.
“We are building the future right here in West Tennessee,” says Eric Grubb, Ford’s director of new footprint construction. “This facility is the blueprint for Ford’s future manufacturing facilities and will enable Ford to help lead America’s shift to electric vehicles.”
With structural steel now going up at BlueOval City, Ford, which is now the second-largest electric-vehicle brand in the U.S. behind Tesla, moves closer to its global target of a 2 million-unit EV production run rate by late 2026.
Significant progress has been made since March, when Ford and its construction partners began preparing the land for construction of the 6-sq.-m (15.5-sq.-km) campus set aside for the project.
Crews are moving more than 4.6 million cu.-yds. (3.5 million cu.-m) of soil, enough to fill 34,500 backyard swimming pools, and 370,000 tons of stone have been moved, which equals the weight of more than 1,600 Statues of Liberty.
Work crews are installing more than 4,600 deep foundations, which include enough steel to reach a height equal to approximately 176 Eiffel Towers when laid end to end.
Ford is engaging with communities in West Tennessee, including through live-streamed discussions and collaborative projects about the impact of the project on area residents and the environment.
As the BlueOval City project moves ahead, Ford is giving senior executives new assignments to accelerate plans for growth and value creation.
Doug Field, who joined Ford in 2021 as chief technology officer, is named chief advanced product development and technology officer. In his expanded role, Field will continue to oversee EV products, software and digital systems development and advanced driver assistance, while also taking on design and vehicle hardware engineering, the company says.
Lisa Drake, vice president-EV industrialization, will now also be responsible for manufacturing engineering. Chuck Gray, who has been vice president-EV technology, is named vice president-vehicle hardware engineering.
Both Drake and Gray report to Field, as does Anthony Lo, Ford’s chief design officer.
“As we enter an intense period of execution for Ford Model e (the automaker’s dedicated EV division) and our $50 billion investment in breakthrough electric and digital vehicles, Doug, Lisa and Chuck are taking on larger roles and building out very capable teams,” Ford President and CEO Jim Farley says.
“Developing and scaling the next generation of electric and software-defined vehicles requires a different focus and mix of talent from the accomplished Ford team and many exciting new colleagues joining our company,” he says.