Michigan loses bid on Ford plant

Clear sign the state needs to learn how to woo industries

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Editorials

October 1, 2021 - 4:53 PM

Ford Motor Co. is planning to open "Blue Oval City" outside Memphis, Tennessee, to build electric F-Series pickups and batteries. (Ford/TNS)

Ford Motor Co.’s decision to take its $11.4 billion electric vehicle investment and 11,000 jobs to the mid-South should jar Michigan to the reality that it’s unprepared to achieve its dreams of dominating the automotive future.

Dearborn-based Ford said it picked Tennessee and Kentucky over its home state for the massive new battery and EV production campuses because of lower electricity costs and better weather.

Making batteries consumes five times the electricity of a traditional auto plant, Ford CEO Jim Farley said. Kentucky and Tennessee offer power rates that are roughly one-fourth cheaper than Michigan’s, though that’s largely because both states are still heavily reliant on coal-fired power plants, which have an uncertain future.

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