American car giant to make decision on future of Saarlouis factory in Germany
Production volumes of the Ford Focus could be slashed, as the American car giant is reportedly planning to significantly reduce output at its plant in Germany.
The long-term future of the plant, which opened in 1970, is also in doubt, said ANE, with a decision on the direction of the factory expected to be announced by the end of June.
Just last year, Ford closed all of its factories in India after 27 years. The year before, it shut its engine plant in Bridgend, Wales, with 1700 jobs going.
Ford Saarlouis works council chairman Markus Thal told the publication this mooted production cut increases fears of major employee lay-offs in Germany. Some 6190 workers are currently involved in Focus production at Saarlouis.
These concerns have been compounded after Ford chose to invest £1.59 billion into its Cologne factory, where it currently builds the Fiesta, instead of its Saarlouis one, as part of a wide-reaching electrification offensive in Europe.
Ford told Autocar no official announcement has yet been made regarding the factory’s future.
The closures would be another blow for the Focus, which has lost its long-held position in the list of Europe’s best-selling cars as Ford diverts supply of scarce components to more popular models, such as the Ford Puma crossover, in light of the ongoing supply chain crisis.
In April, just 5000 Focus models were sold, compared with 10,000 the year before, Jato Dynamics figures show. The similarly sized but higher-riding Puma, on the other hand, is one of the continent’s top-selling cars, selling almost 13,000 models in the same month this year.