5 Automotive Projects To Watch In 2021


In the first quarter of 2021 prospects in the automotive industry started to look up as tech...

Lauren McGuire

By Lauren McGuire

In the first quarter of 2021 prospects in the automotive industry started to look up as technological developments, such as electric vehicles and driverless cars, enabled the industry to begin its recovery from COVID-19.

The current level of investment is creating plenty of exciting job opportunities for engineers across the globe - if you’re looking for your next job in the automotive industry, here are 5 projects to watch. ​

Ford Motor to invest $185 million in global battery centre in southeast Michigan named Ion Park

The American multinational automaker Ford Motor Company, commonly known as Ford, is investing $185 million to support the company’s growth into connectivity, autonomous vehicles, electrification, and mobility services.

As Ford expands, the company’s data storage requirements are expected to increase from 13 petabytes to more than 200 petabytes. Their new $185 million facility will address this need for data storage with world-class infrastructure for storage, processing, and integration of data.

Alongside this, the new facility will include a state-of-the-art research and development lab to pilot new manufacturing techniques for electrodes, battery cells, and array design. Ford recently announced it expects sales of its electric vehicles to increase by 40% by 2025 so the goal of Ion Park is to accelerate the development and manufacturing of batteries and battery cell technology for electric vehicles.

Lion Electric to invest $185 million in battery manufacturing plant and innovation centre in Quebec

Another company investing in cutting-edge battery technology is a Canadian-based manufacturer of commercial vehicles, Lion Electric.

The company are constructing a factory to produce battery packs and modules made from Lithium-ion cells. Construction is projected to break ground over the next few months and is scheduled to begin operations in early 2023.

With the construction of the plant, Lion will become the first Canadian manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty vehicles to supply its own batteries, giving them control over a key component in their supply chain. They expect this will have a direct impact on their overall manufacturing costs as batteries are the most expensive component in the manufacturing of electric vehicles.

Lion will also benefit from federal and provincial government funding of approximately $100 million CAD (amounting to $50 million CAD each) for this project.

Hyundai Motor to build 1.55 billion vehicle manufacturing plant in Indonesia

Hyundai Motor Company, commonly known as Hyundai, is a South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Seoul.

Before COVID-19, Hyundai entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Indonesian government to build its first manufacturing plant in the country. $1.55 billion or equivalent to IDR 21.8 trillion will be spent during construction, which will be divided into two stages. The first phase is already underway and the second is expected to begin in 2022. The plant is located on an 8.35 million-square-foot site in Kota Deltamas, within an integrated industrial, commercial, and residential district in the eastern outskirts of Jakarta.

The company’s decision to invest in Indonesia will support its growth in the Electric Vehicle space and into new markets within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

After its initial development phase, it’s expected to produce 150,000 units a year but after the second phase is complete the plant will be able to build approximately 250,000 vehicles annually.

As well as ASEAN-specific electric vehicles, Hyundai plan to produce compact SUV, compact MPV and sedan models at the new plant.

Hyundai’s investment into Jakarta is expected to create more than 23,000 new direct and indirect jobs at the Indonesian plant and will make them one of the biggest automotive employers in the Kota Deltamas district.

Volkswagen to invest $800 million in its electric vehicle production in the United States

The German motor vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen often referred to as VW, announced at the Detroit Auto Show in 2019 that it was investing $800 million into building a plant for the assembly of battery packs for Electric Vehicles at its Chattanooga plant.

The construction is currently underway and is expected to include a 564,000-square-foot addition to the body shop and will add over 1,000 well playing jobs by 2022 when vehicle production is anticipated to begin.

VW’s investment into this plant will transform Chattanooga into a North American assembly base for electric vehicles on the Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB). By 2022, MEB vehicles are to be produced at eight locations on three continents, including Zwickau, Germany and Anting and Foshan, in China.

GM to invest $2.2Billion in all-electric vehicle plant at its Detroit- Hamtramck plant in the USA

American multinational corporation General Motors Company (GM) is investing $2.2 billion to revamp its Detroit-Hamtramck plant into a fully dedicated, all-electric vehicle plant. The refurbishment will include new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling for the plant’s paint and body shops, as well as its general assembly area.

Currently, GM builds the Cadillac CT6 and the Chevrolet Impala at this location, but after its all-electric transformation, GM will manufacture a variety of electric trucks and SUVs, with production scheduled to begin in late 2021.

Approximately 900 people are employed at the plant at present, but when the revamped plant is fully operational, GM is expecting to create 2,200 U.S. manufacturing jobs.

GM also plan to invest an additional $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of the new electric trucks.

​NES Fircroft and the Automotive Industry

The automotive sector is constantly evolving as new technologies emerge and are reimagined. Of course, for this growth and evolution to keep happening, there is a constant need for top engineering talent.

NES Fircroft can source outstanding technical experts necessary to ensure industry innovation – if you have a staffing need, get in touch with our experts.

If you’re looking for your next automotive job – we can help. Having been active within this industry for several years, we have strong relationships with some of the world’s biggest companies in the automotive industry.

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