Ford ends car production at its German factory
Ford does not intend to replace Focus production at its vehicle assembly plant in Saarlouis, Germany, in 2025. Instead, the US company will seek “alternative opportunities” for the plant, including selling it to another automaker, said Ford of Europe President Stuart Rowley. .
Rowley, however, refrained from saying the establishment would close.
“We are looking for other alternative opportunities for vehicle production in Saarlouis, including other manufacturers,” Rowley said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. “We do not have in our planning cycle an additional model that goes to Saarlouis.”
Saarlouis lost out to Ford’s plant in Valencia, Spain, in its bid to produce vehicles on the company’s next-generation electric vehicle architecture from the end of this decade, Ford said in a statement. communicated.
Valencia and Saarlouis will see “significant” job cuts as Ford shifts to an all-electric future, Rowley has warned. “The industry reality is that producing electric vehicles will require fewer people,” he said.
Ford currently employs 6,000 people in Valencia and 4,600 in Saarlouis. Ford’s site in Cologne, Germany, is not affected by the downsizing. Rowley gave no numbers or timeline for the downsizing.
Ford gave no indication in which segment the Valencia-built electric models will compete.
The plant is currently building the Kuga compact SUV alongside the large Galaxy and S-Max minivans.
Production of the Mondeo mid-size family at the plant has ended.
Saarlouis, which received a 600 million euro investment in 2017 to prepare to manufacture the current Focus, has long been under threat as Ford has turned to lower-cost production sites in Europe. These sites include its facilities in Craiova, Romania, where it builds the small Puma SUV, and in Kocaeli, Turkey, where it builds its Europe-leading range of commercial vehicles.
Production in Saarlouis has been hit by supply chain shortages and lower demand for compact sedans in general.
Ford Germany’s attention is focused on its Cologne plant, which will start building a new SUV based on Volkswagen’s MEB electric platform from 2023.