Ford Authority

Germany Would Not Block Ford Saarlouis Plant Sale To BYD

As it continues to look for a spot to build a new EV battery plant in the U.S. following Virginia’s rejection, The Blue Oval is also in the process of closing certain plants in other international markets – including the Saarlouis Assembly plant in Germany, which is slated to stop production in 2025. In the meantime, the automaker has been looking for a buyer for that particular facility, and has thus far received interest from Chinese EV automaker BYD, along with a handful of other potential suitors. As Ford Authority reported last week, it’s unclear if BYD will actually pursue such a purchase, but according to Reuters, Germany wouldn’t block that prospective sale if it does.

This is notable because Ford is also teaming up with CATL to build a new EV plant in the U.S., but that prospective project has been criticized by some for the latter company’s Chinese roots. Regardless, Germany’s state premier, Anke Rehlinger, doesn’t agree with those sentiments. “To be honest, Ford is an American company and we didn’t like the decisions they made. (Country of origin) is not the only criteria,” she explained.

“That there are situations and circumstances in China which we do not like from a human rights position is clear, and it is important we reiterate that. But we have also had a positive experience with Svolt,” Rehlinger added, referring to the Chinese battery cell maker that already operates a plant in Saarland. “I do not discriminate by geography.”

BYD is exploring the idea of building its own facility in Europe, where it’s aiming to establish its own sales and dealer networks. The company has become China’s largest producer of EVs over the years, capitalizing on making affordable all-electric models for the masses. As for the Ford Saarlouis plant, it’s scheduled to end production in 2025, and has reportedly received interest from 15 possible buyers, including Magna International and contract manufacturer VDL Nedcar, both of which currently produce vehicles for a variety of automotive manufacturers already.

We’ll have more on the future of all Ford plants soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Mike says...

    In political terms only, China is making it harder for industry to embrace their participation in any global initiatives. I understand and accept the business choices and decisions being made by Ford in and around the BEV industry….. but I remain very concerned around Ford’s attitude towards managing the greater risk to them due to China’s participation. Ford accountants are out of their league on this and management seems to be taking a ‘hear no evil see no evil’ approach. That is not good enough for shareholders interests!

    1. RWFA

      What are you trying to say?

      Ford shouldn’t sell its plant to the highest bidder of that bidder be Chinese?

      So what does that achieve? Sell the plant for less to someone else, and BYD will build their plant in a low cost area and import to Germany and have even better profit margins.

      As for the battery JV, you’ve apparently never been on the other side of a negotiation with Ford’s lawyers. They’re formidable.

      Ps do you realize you contradicted the first half of your comment in the second half of your comment? From “I accept…” to “…very concerned…”.

  2. Mike says...

    In the interest of brevity… there are 2 issues, the business decision which I understand and respect… and the global geopolitical reality that swirls around doing any business with a less than trustworthy partner in China. While the 2 issues are independent, as your opinion appears to be RWFA, they are increasingly becoming a factor with investors confidence in corporate America. There is more to this than just money… as per Germany learning the hard way with Russia and their Gasprom gas fiasco. If business was as convenient as you seem to suggest, America would not be in decline as it increasingly appears to be. I don’t like the sound of my words either, but if you are not leading, you are probably following… or worse, standing still in an industry that is ‘charging forward’. (no pun intended)

  3. RWFA

    I still don’t find a through-line or conclusion in what you are saying.

    Don’t understand what you are trying to surmise about my opinion.

    Trying to understand the risk you are trying to identify but you have left it open to guessing.

  4. Mike says...

    Ok… you are a bit judgemental. Your limitted ability to think outside your own biases is apparent and only a little bit defensive. This is a blog…if you can’t or don’t participate in the flow….it would suggest my observations of your feedback maybe correct…till next time.

    1. RWFA

      LoL, you mean you are unable to elaborate on your unclear ideas and folks must be left to guess?

      What kind of adult communication strategy is that?

      I am only limitted (sic) here by the quality and clarity of your comments.


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