Ford ‘Mini Mustang Mach-e’ to be built on VW MEB platform

New all-electric Ford ‘mini Mustang Mach-e’ will be built on the VW Group’s MEB platform at the Fiesta plant in Cologne.

Ford has revealed that it’s investing $1bn in a new electric vehicle manufacturing line at its Cologne factory in Germany, where its first purpose made EV for Europe will be built from 2023 onwards.

The investment will transform the plant – currently the home of Britain’s best selling car, the Fiesta – into a dedicated electric car factory called Ford Cologne Electrification Centre.

Though unconfirmed, it’s likely that the electric car to be built for Europe from 2023 onwards will be based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform. In 2019, Ford confirmed that it had struck a deal with Volkswagen to design and produce ‘at least one’ vehicle on the MEB system from 2023, though Ford now says that it is already considering the potential for Cologne to be the manufacturing site for two electric vehicles.

The move to turn the Cologne factory into a European hub for electric vehicle manufacturing leaves question marks over the future of the Ford Fiesta. With production in Valencia ending back in 2012, Cologne has been the sole build site for the hugely successful supermini for nine years now.

Ford would need to find a new home for the Fiesta, or possibly even call time on its B-segment hatchback. Such a move would once have been unthinkable but wouldn’t be such a huge surprise today, given how car manufacturers are finding it harder and harder to make money from smaller cars.

Ford has not revealed any further details about the new EV to be built at Cologne from 2023, other than it will be a “volume all-electric passenger vehicle for European customers.” The VW MEB platform gives the company a great degree of flexibility in terms of body style, but as current convention would suggest, it’s more than likely that Ford will look to produce a small electric SUV or tall riding family hatchback on the platform.

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Alongside the announcement of a new Ford EV for Europe, the company has revealed that from 2026 onwards, every vehicle in its passenger car line-up will be available with a fully-electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain. Full-electric across the line-up will be achieved by 2030.

The electrification of the firm’s expansive commercial vehicles arm has also been revealed: a range of vans and pick-up trucks with fully electric and plug-in hybrid drivetrains across every model will be offered to customers from 2024.

James Brodie

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