Ford Spain has notified unions that it intends to lay off 400 employees in the Almussafes plant in Spain. Ford says the reason for the layoffs is a decline in demand across Europe. Ford Spain says that it intends to cut daily production by 100 units from 1740 to 1640. The new reduction in production comes after Ford Spain cut production by 100 units at the end of September 2019.
These layoffs are permanent, and come after temporary layoffs were instituted last year. The Spanish manufacturing facility builds the Ford Kuga with Ford noting that demand for the new-generation vehicle has failed to offset slower sales of other models assembled at the facility. The other models assembled at the facility include the Mondeo, S-Max, Galaxy, and the Connect and Tourneo vans.
The layoffs are surprising to some after Ford Europe President Stewart Rowley announced in January that the automaker would invest about $47 million in the Spanish plant to support electrification. The bulk of that investment was marked for building a pair of battery assembly lines with one assembly line for hybrids and the other for plug-in hybrids.
A significant chunk of the money, $11 million, was specifically dedicated to the production of the Kuga hybrid. Other substantial sums of money from the investment were for electrified versions of the S-Max and Galaxy, which is powered by a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline four-cylinder engine paired up with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery. It’s unclear when the layoffs will be instituted at this time, and there has been no official statement from the union.
Source: Wards Auto