As part of its transition to a 100 percent all-electric passenger vehicle lineup in Europe by 2030 or sooner, Ford previously announced that the Valencia Body and Assembly Plant in Spain would be converted to build those types of models moving forward, while it would also be closing the Saarlouis Assembly plant in Germany, which previously produced the soon-to-be-discontinued Ford Focus. As such, Saarlouis was previously slated to stop production in 2025. However, last March, Ford changed course and said that it would keep that plant open through 2032, even after Ford Focus production ends, albeit with a greatly reduced workforce. In the meantime, the automaker has been seeking an investor for the Saarlouis plant – with little luck so far – and now, it seems as if it still plans on sticking to its previously plan, according to Reuters.
The German union IG Metall has agreed to Ford’s proposed job cuts at the Saarlouis Assembly plant when Ford Focus production ends next year, with the total reduction coming in at around 3,500 workers. This is precisely the number that was previously expected, meaning that only 1,000 of the plant’s current 4,500 employee workforce will remain intact after next year. FoMoCo also noted that the remaining 1,000 workers can stay at the plant through 2032 with no forced redundancies, and if they wish to leave early, they’ll receive an “attractive” severance package.
“We could not achieve the best solution so we decided to make do with the second-best option: to make job cuts as expensive as possible for Ford,” said Joerg Koehlinger, district manager of IG Metall Mitte.
As Ford Authority previously reported, The Blue Oval has been actively seeking an investor for that facility – a list that reportedly included Chinese EV maker BYD, Magna International, VDL Nedcar, and an unnamed “major” investor. However, the latter party reportedly dropped out of any potential deal last year, and Ford is seemingly no closer to reaching an agreement with any other company at the moment, too.