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A look at Ford Blue Oval City one year after construction began

Ford executives allowed bus tours around the 3,600-acre campus of the $5.6 billion investment to manufacture electric trucks and batteries starting in 2025.

HAYWOOD COUNTY, Tenn. — Friday was an exciting day at Tennessee and Ford's history-making nearly-4,000-acre Blue Oval City site. 

Despite the rain and mud, hundreds of people showed up to tour the campus to hear all the new developments.

The project is still on track to operate in 2025.

"[It's a] great day for Tennessee — great day for West Tennessee," Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said.

Governor Lee shared the stage with Ford President Jim Farley debuting the first look of the historic Blue Oval City project a year into construction.

"Blue Oval City is designed to be Ford's first carbon neutral vehicle and battery  manufacturing campus," Farley said.

Bus tours started at the battery plant. Then, a mile drive over to the assembly side with the body and paint shop, final assembly and direct rail line. The campus also has three concrete plants, two water towers and its own electric substation.

"Our new utility system is going to save 50 million gallons of water each year — just from the way we're reducing evaporation, and we plan to have zero fresh water use for assembly," Farley said.

The big talker — the job opportunities, which Governor Bill Lee made a focal point in this $5.6 Billion dollar investment.

"We anticipate that there will be a total of 30,000 jobs in the ecosystem of the companies and suppliers that will surround this region to make sure there are the parts necessary to build these vehicles," Lee said. "So, 6,000 jobs yes, in this plant — 6,000 really high-paying jobs, but 30,000 jobs and more in the years to come."

He didn't know the average worker's salary, but didn't seem phased when asked about Ford's 2022 revenue report showing a $2 billion loss in their electric vehicle division.

"When we saw leadership stand up and talk about what this vehicle is going to be and how important it's going to be to the future of the automotive industry, we feel really excited about what's happening here," Lee said.

Farley didn't have the new electric truck, code named T-3, on display. Still, he said it will have all the digital bells and whistles and will ride as smooth as Tennessee whisky.

Some fun facts to put this project in perspective:

  • Ford has already moved more than 10 million cubic yards of soil at Blue Oval City — enough to fill the empire state building six times.
  • The company has used a million tons of stone which weighs about 6,500 Boeing 747 airplanes.
  • Crews have poured enough concrete to fill the Tennessee Aquarium 29 times.
  • The campus will even have its very own Lowe's home improvement store.

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