Ford has announced an $11.4 billion investment in an electric vehicle plant in Valencia, Spain, to build its European range of electric vehicles.
This decision is in preference to Ford’s plant in Saarlouis in Germany.
However, Ford warned of significant job losses as electric cars rely on more automated assembly lines to build, requiring less human involvement.
Ford has a number of plants in Germany, Turkey and Romania which will also build electric vehicles but even in Valencia there will still be staffing cuts in 2030.
So far, although sales of electric cars are increasing there is still a lack of confidence in the charging infrastructure and the government has been criticised for failing to provide adequate support and funding.
Many buyers who have been drawn to electric, as the cost of petrol and diesel hits new record levels, cannot get delivery due to the lack of chips and are disappointed the government grant has been withdrawn.
New car deliveries generally are struggling to catch up and some customers are considering either cancelling or trying to find an alternative.
This is not easy as virtually all manufacturers have the same issues and those who would settle for a nearly-new are finding this just as difficult.
Used car prices have stabilised but are expected to rise again later in the year unless new car deliveries show a dramatic improvement.
There is the added concern of inflation and with energy prices rising and no prospect to an end of the war in Ukraine, consumers are looking for support from the government.
There have been many rumours of what this might be but up to now no announcement has been forthcoming.
To add to the motorists’ frustration, they have been encouraged to drive less and use public transport but with rail strikes with us for the immediate future and the prospect of flight cancellations throughout the school holidays, the car will once again be vital for transport.
With the fall in sales because of shortages, there is little reason for the manufacturers to offer incentives and it appears we will have to endure this until next year.
If you have a well-looked-after used car to part exchange this will have risen in price and should help to keep the difference to change reasonable.
If you have chosen a hybrid or a plug-in electric, this will save you in fuel costs and ensure a desirable part-exchange when your future purchase occurs.
Interest charges are going up and it is only a question of how long before this has to be passed on.
Talk to your dealer and check choices, prices, and availability.
There will be many challenges for us all this winter but good advice and research will help with your decision, even if it is to do nothing at this time.
Written by Peter Vosper, chairman of the Vosper group
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