Car manufacturers are going at lightning speed in 2021. And the brands concerned are not really the most famous in this area. On Wednesday, Ford announced an investment of one billion dollars (830 million euros) in the Cologne plant in Germany with the aim of switching by 2030 to all-electric for its models sold in Europe. For the Financial Times, the matter is serious since it would be neither more nor less “The most ambitious regional electrification target of all the major manufacturers”. This announcement comes after shattering statements from the American brand which already produces the 100% electric Mustang Mach-E on a plan to 22 billion dollars by 2025 in this technology.
From 2023, Ford will thus produce its first fully electric European car in Cologne, in particular thanks to its collaboration in this area with Volkswagen, which announced in 2019 that it would provide it with the “MEB” electrical technological base developed by the German giant. The latter also intends to become one of the leaders in the sector, since it wants to offer 70 electric models by 2030 and sell 26 million units in ten years.
Concerns about employment
Two days before, Jaguar, better known for its roaring engines than its control of CO2 and other fine particles, announced to go all-electric, from 2025. The brand driven by James Bond during its last two outings “Will have undertaken a renaissance to emerge as a purely electric luxury brand”, Jaguar Land Rover ignites in a press release.
But as with every industrial upheaval, worries about employment emerge. “There is a permanent adaptation of our employees. […] We adapt at high speed ”, tries with his jargon Thierry Bolloré, CEO of the English group and former of Renault, without responding concretely on the reductions of employment. Especially since last year, 1,100 temporary jobs were already cut. And even though Britain’s Jaguar Land Rover unions, which represent some 40,000 workers, say they have guarantees, the Castle Bromwich plant in the Midlands seems a prime target in the event of a“adaptation” forced march.
If across the Atlantic, General Motors also announced in January an ambitious program for its Cadillacs and other Chevrolets, this week’s announcements, both spectacular and marketing, are part of a favorable context for this type of vehicles on the Old Continent. 2020 was a record year since 1.3 million 100% electric or plug-in hybrid cars were sold in Western Europe, according to specialist consultant Matthias Schmidt cited by the echoes. This translates to an increase of 144% compared to the previous year. Germany, by far, France and the United Kingdom were the most fond of these cars, which concerned more than 10% of new car registrations. But 45% remained plug-in hybrids, a technology criticized in particular a few months ago by the NGO Transport and Environment, which asserted: “Some models are so heavy that they emit as much CO2 as a large thermal SUV. The environmental and climatic benefits announced are in fact very theoretical and are not effective in real conditions. ” Green capitalism has its limits.