Ford Change Focus of Halewood production
The UK car industry has seen great change in recent decades – all too often, production has left these shores, impacting employment, communities and the UK economy.
There have also been more subtle changes, plants remaining in operation, but their focus changing as car production processes are updated.
One planned change caught our attention – Ford’s plan to switch the use of their Halewood plant from gearbox production to making parts for electric cars.
We won’t labour the point that there is an undeniable shift from petrol and diesel cars to hybrids and electrics – this blog has covered this topic in depth.
This switch is evident in Ford’s plans to invest in the plant and produce ‘electric power units’ – these replacing the transmission of more traditional vehicles.
Firstly, it must be stated that keeping the plant in operation is of great importance – it is of course far better that it stays active and people remain in employment than the plant shuts down.
However, is it also a change that while forward focussed, perhaps does not fully factor in the reality of the current car-buying trends?
For all that electric power units might be a part of the future, which cars are commonly bought? It is petrol and diesel with traditional transmissions, be they manual or automatic. There is a natural reluctance from many to make the switch just yet – you can get a superb used petrol or diesel car for a price that would not get much at all if you were looking for a hybrid or electric options.
Announcing the change, Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe, said: “This is an important step, marking Ford’s first in-house investment in all-electric vehicle component manufacturing in Europe. It strengthens further our ability to deliver 100 per cent of Ford passenger vehicles in Europe being all-electric and two-thirds of our commercial vehicle sales being all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.”
One interesting trend to watch could be how the take-up of electric and hybrid vehicles varies across Europe – it is worth noting that the Halewood plant was already concentrating fully on Europe, with no parts for UK cars made at this centre.
The UK government has made high-profile pledges regarding electric cars, but take-up has been slower here than in much of Europe. Put simply, it seems that a lot of UK drivers appreciate both the value for money and the driveability of the more traditional options.
To make any wholesale change happen, it is going to have to be made very appealing for UK drivers – as it is, the sense is that you pay more for less choice.
As leading esports in gearbox repair, we will of course watch with interest – still, it doesn’t look like traditional transmissions are going anywhere just yet!
What can be said is that well-maintained manual and automatic cars can be a superb long-term buy and, as some make the switch to hybrid and electric, there are sure to be some great bargains out there.
If you are buying a car with a standard transmission and want it checked out, please consider our services. Please also consider some great bargains that may need a bit of work on the transmission – getting a repaired or refurbished unit, guaranteed to last for years, can turn a budget buy into a wonderful family car.
AT NWT, gearboxes and transmissions are what we do – independent reviews speaking of our level of service and expertise. Please contact us with any queries or for any repairs or assessments.
ABOUT NORTH WEST TRANSMISSIONS
At North West Transmissions we repair gearboxes or source replacement with guaranteed refurbished units.
A family-run business, we have a truly superb reputation, this shown by our 4.9 out of 5 average rating from dozens of reviews on Google.
All reconditioned gearboxes come with guarantees for 12 months or 12,000 miles while reconditioned automatic units come with a re-manufactured torque converter that has a lifetime guarantee.
Our technicians are all highly skilled with vast experience in reconditioning and repairing all units – importantly their efficiency helps cut down the price of repairs and so too the cost.
Gearbox problems are all-too common. If you find yourself in need of a repair or reconditioned unit, that often being the more economical option in the long term, please contact us.
Call us on 0151 933 0257 or use our Contact Form.