Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery CATL-FORD
On February 14th Ford announced it would invest $3.5 billion to build a lithium-iron phosphate battery plant in Marshall, Michigan. It is also the first battery plant in the United States to be wholly owned by an automaker and will be followed by the introduction of a Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery solution for Ford electric vehicles, providing consumers with a richer choice of battery technology.
Ford also said it plans to add a lithium iron phosphate battery solution to its core electric vehicle market. As part of the plan, Ford has reached an agreement with Ningde Times to provide technology and service support for the production of Ford's lithium iron phosphate battery plant.
This is another breakthrough in Ningde's globalization strategy after the company started manufacturing lithium-ion battery cells in Thuringia, Germany, in December last year. However, as an important layout to open the global market, "King Ning" in the Chinese market, will also face new challenges from North America.
Ningde era: Technology "go to sea", avoid risk
Under Ford's agreement with Ningder Times, the new battery plant in Michigan will be wholly owned by Ford Motor, rather than operated as a joint venture with Ningder Times. Ningde Times will provide preparation and operation services for the plant and license the patented battery technology. This new mode of cooperation is expected to guarantee Ningde Times stable earnings, while avoiding large-scale investment and major risks.
In fact, there is a precedent for Chinese auto parts companies to go to the United States. From the establishment of a factory by Cao Dewang, the "King of glass" in 2014, to the announcement of growth plans in the United States by Guoxuan High-tech and Vision Power respectively last year, Chinese companies are still full of longing for the new energy market in North America, which has not fully unlocked its potential.
The deal with Ford is also a new attempt by Ningde Times to take its technology to sea. Although he did not make a direct financial investment in the new plant, he did not have to deal with many legal issues such as labor relations, workplace safety and tax risks in the United States.