If auto manufacturing facility investments had been hobbled in 2020 by COVID-19-related fears and world enterprise uncertainties, 2021 could possibly be referred to as the 12 months when automakers made up for misplaced time. The auto business got here out of its pandemic doldrums, spending cash with a vengeance to create new manufacturing capability and jockeying for place in electrical merchandise.
The previous few months have witnessed manufacturing initiatives on a daring scale, together with the most important U.S. funding in electrical automobiles at one time by Ford Motor Co.
“Electrification is driving a brand new wave of auto manufacturing facility funding,” mentioned Terni Fiorelli, assistant director of the Automotive Communities Partnership on the Heart for Automotive Analysis, a corporation in Ann Arbor, Mich., that tracks business funding by means of its E-book of Offers.
“Final 12 months, half of the ten largest automaker initiatives in North America had been associated to electrical automobiles,” she mentioned. “This 12 months, all 10 of the highest 10 had been. And what you are seeing more and more are the established automakers moving into it, whereas earlier than, a variety of EV investments had been coming from new firms.”
Automaking investments have at all times been costly. However there’s a new value issue at this time: Automakers aren’t merely including extra of what they had been producing — extra vehicles, extra engines, extra transmissions.
They’re as an alternative having to create an all-new product spectrum — new EV platforms, with new applied sciences to energy them and new elements to assemble them.
For the time being, battery crops are the tail wagging the canine in North American plant funding. Just about each new meeting line for an EV now requires the development of latest battery capability. And that is not low-cost. Battery-cell factories have been coming with value tags of greater than $1 billion (all figures in USD).
Automakers are assured in spending at a better degree now as a result of the market is asking for it, mentioned Tom Stringer, managing director of the actual property consulting agency and website search advisory BDO Worldwide.
“That is all market-driven,” Stringer informed Automotive Information final week as he toured the newly accomplished Nikola Corp. electrical truck plant in Coolidge, Ariz., a undertaking on which he consulted. “Some huge cash is being spent on capability proper now as a result of that is what shoppers are saying they need. The time is true. The economic system is robust and the capital is on the market to make it occur.”
Listed here are the ten largest automaker initiatives introduced for North America throughout 2021, by greenback quantity, in keeping with the Heart for Automotive Analysis’s E-book of Offers.