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Ford Plans 6,000 Latest Union Jobs in Three Midwestern States


President Biden has backed substantial subsidies for electric vehicles, including vehicles made by unionized employees, but those measures have languished within the Senate and their prospects are uncertain.

Within the meantime, much of the job growth tied to electric vehicles has occurred at nonunion facilities owned by newer automakers like Tesla, Rivian and Lucid, or U.S.-based battery facilities owned wholly or partially by foreign corporations just like the South Korean manufacturers SK Innovation and LG Chem.

In Thursday’s announcement, Ford noted that its latest battery and vehicle production facilities within the South would create about 11,000 jobs. But those employees won’t mechanically change into union members, and staff in those states are likely to face an uphill battle in unionizing.

For investors, nevertheless, Ford’s additional investments in electric vehicles appears to be welcome news as the corporate seeks to reinvent itself amid competition from the likes of Tesla and Rivian. Ford’s stock price, which had dropped substantially this yr, rose greater than 2 percent on Thursday.

Ford also said Thursday that it sold 6,254 electric vehicles in May, a jump of greater than 200 percent from a yr earlier. That number included 201 F-150 Lightnings, which the corporate began producing in April.

The corporate has about 200,000 reservations for the Lightning, which is central to its efforts to catch as much as Tesla, and stopped accepting latest ones because production will take months to satisfy demand.

Ford indicated that sales of the truck can be much higher in the approaching months as production increased and trucks in transit reached dealerships. Ford is aiming to provide 150,000 Lightning trucks a yr by the tip of 2023.

Sales of electrical vehicles — and standard cars — have been limited by a shortage of computer chips. Ford’s overall sales of latest vehicles in May fell 4.5 percent from a yr earlier. Auto executives are also increasingly fearful that the availability of lithium, nickel and other raw materials needed to make the batteries that power electric cars is just not maintaining with the growing demand for those vehicles.

Vikas Bajaj contributed reporting.

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