Environment Ford to roll out electric vehicles across GCC next year By Pramod Kumar March 30, 2023 REUTERS/Peter Nicholls Manufacturing limitations prevented Ford from bringing its EVs sooner to the region, says managing director Middle East and Africa Chris Noel US automaker Ford Motor Co. plans to launch its electric vehicles (EV) in the Middle East in 2024, according to a media report. The automaker will introduce EV models to the Gulf before moving into the wider region, Chris Noel, managing director of Ford Middle East and Africa, told Bloomberg. He stated that manufacturing limitations prevented Ford from bringing its EVs to the region sooner. “We just don’t have the manufacturing capacity. We can’t build them fast enough to bring them to the market, which is why it’s so critical that we get this new capacity on the street,” Noel said. Ford is building a new plant in Tennessee, part of a $5.6 billion industrial compound BlueOval City. The factory is expected to manufacture a quarter of the two million EVs Ford plans to build annually by 2026-end. The company already has a couple of vehicles on test in the region since last year, which did exceptionally well, he added. Goldman Sachs estimates EVs will make up about half of new-car sales worldwide by 2035. Noel anticipates EVs to make up more than 10 percent of all cars in the Gulf by 2027 or 2028. “It’s a very important region (Middle East) and will remain a growth region for the foreseeable future,” he said. Lucid Group, which is 60 percent owned by Saudi sovereign wealth Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced last year plans to build an EV production hub in Saudi Arabia, which will have an annual capacity of 155,000 vehicles. PIF has also tied with Apple supplier Foxconn to manufacture EVs through Saudi car maker, Ceer, which will design, manufacture and sell a range of vehicles for consumers in Saudi Arabia and the Mena.