Magna to Build $40 Million EV Battery Enclosure Plant in Ontario to Supply Ford F-150 Lightning

Canadian supply giant Magna International is building a $40 million factory in Chatham, Ontario, to supply Ford Motor Co. better service with much-needed battery cases for the new Ford F-150 Lighting electric pickup.

The facility, located in the city about 50 miles east of Windsor, will be an extension of Formet Industries’ operations in nearby St. Thomas, where it primarily makes seats and upholstery for the automotive industry.

The new 170,000-square-foot facility is expected to create up to 150 new jobs, the company said in a statement on March 30

“We’ve been able to bring in additional business that will allow us to grow in two great communities,” said Mark Johnson, Magna’s general manager, Formet Industries.

The Chatham plant will build the industry’s largest lightweight aluminum battery case, said Magna, which “changes the game” for its ability to reduce the vehicle’s overall weight and thereby increase range.

Due to demand, Ford Motor Co worldwide reservations for the collection of nearly 200,000 unitsbut didn’t say how many of those reservations turned into actual orders.

Formet Plant Manager Phil Page told the Chatham Daily News that the new factory will initially produce 60,000 battery cases per year and then expand to more than 120,000 units per year.

According to the paper, the housings will be built in the former Crown Metal Packaging factory, which produced metal cans for food packaging until 2015. The facility has been vacant ever since.

Page told the Chatham Daily News that more than $40 million will be spent on the operation within its first 18 months, with the possibility of an additional $40 million investment in the future.

The investment is just the latest in a series of Canadian plants connected to the electric vehicle supply chain.

Earlier in March, General Motors and BASF every announced battery materials processing plant in Quebec† Honda then announced a refurbishment of its assembly plants in Alliston, Ont., to build hybrid vehicles there. And on March 23, Stellantis and LG Energy will join forces Unveiled Plans for $5 Billion EV Battery Plant in Windsor, Ontario

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