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Ford halts work on $3.5-b battery plant in Michigan

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NEW YORK, United States—Ford is halting work on a major battery plant in the northern US state of Michigan, the automaker said Monday, just seven months after launching the project with a Chinese partner.

The stoppage, which a Ford representative confirmed to AFP, comes as the company faces a major strike along with both of the other “Big Three” US automakers, Stellantis and General Motors.

The Ford spokesperson insisted the decision about the $3.5 billion battery plant had not been related to the ongoing strike,, but rather the site’s future economic viability.

“We’re pausing work and limiting spending on construction on the Marshall project until we’re confident about our ability to competitively operate the plant,” the spokesperson said.

“We haven’t made any final decision about the planned investment there,” he added.

In February, Ford announced the project in Marshall, Michigan as a way to diversify its battery profile away from its current exclusive use of nickel cobalt manganese (NCM), which are costly to produce because of raw material scarcity.

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