As The Blue Oval transitions its entire European passenger vehicle lineup to EVs in the coming years, the automaker is converting many of its assembly plants in the region for the production of all-electric vehicles, as well as closing others. That includes the Ford Saarlouis Assembly plant in Germany, which is set to cease production in 2025. In the meantime, Ford has been looking to sell that facility, with Chinese EV automaker BYD emerging as one of several possible candidates. However, even though Germany doesn’t plan to block such a sale, BYD recently threw a bit of cold water on the notion that it may purchase the Ford Saarlouis Assembly plant, which may stay open in a reduced capacity through 2032. Now, according to Bloomberg, a deal for the facility may be coming very soon.
The Blue Oval is reportedly close to reaching a deal for the Ford Saarlouis Assembly plant, with the field of bidders narrowed down to three – two of which are BYD and another unnamed group of smaller Chinese car companies. The third company is a German solar component maker, all of which are discussing a possible sale with both Ford and the state of Saarland, where the plant is located.
Ford is reportedly seeking to secure a preliminary deal for the plant that would result in a sale later this month, though it’s unclear if that will ultimately happen. There are reportedly several other parties that are still interested in the site, and it’s still possible that current talks will fall through. In the meantime, Ford is reportedly seeking a suitor that will keep the plant running and create additional employment opportunities in the future.
The fact that Chinese companies are among the finalists for the Saarlouis plant could still attract some scrutiny from German lawmakers, particularly after that country has created tougher rules for investors that aren’t based in Europe who are seeking to purchase companies in sectors including robotics and artificial intelligence, which could present another road block in Ford’s attempt to sell the plant.