MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and other elected officials joined executives from Ford Motor Company on Tuesday to officially announce the company’s new electric vehicle and battery manufacturing plant at the Memphis Regional Megasite.
Ford will invest $5.6 billion in the Haywood County site in rural West Tennessee to build a 3,600-acre campus called Blue Oval City. The manufacturing plant is expected to directly create 5,800 jobs, with thousands more expected, according to state officials.
Production of next generation all-electric F-Series trucks and battery components is expected to begin at the site, about 30 miles northeast of the Memphis city limit, in 2025.
The Greater Memphis Chamber called the project “the largest single investment in Tennessee’s history.”
The state is chipping in incentives totaling more than $500 million for successful completion of the project.
Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, said it was the largest single investment in manufacturing in the company’s history.
Ford said the threat of climate change was reshaping the company’s approach to vehicles. The new campus will be a carbon-neutral facility that would set a new standard for manufacturing.
“We have to be bold, we have to go big, and we have to do it now,” Ford said.
In addition to the Tennessee facility, Ford also announced a related battery production plant in central Kentucky, near Glendale. That project is expected to employ about 5,000. The batteries will power a new lineup of Ford and Lincoln EVs.
Jim Farley, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company, said the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning is already sold out. He said the truck would accelerate like a sports car and would be “smooth as Tennessee whiskey.”
He said the project will jump-start a new industry producing EV batteries for zero-emissions vehicle.
“We’re going to bring great jobs, yes, but we’re also going to be active citizens in the community,” he said.
Tennessee is already home to several large vehicle manufacturing plants.
The GM factory in Spring Hill, which is outside Nashville, was the largest in the country, but this new facility in Haywood County will be nearly twice that size.
There’s also a Nissan assembly plant in Smyrna, assembling cars, trucks and engines and Volkwagen has a facility in Chattanooga producing the Passat and Atlas.