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Ford’s plant in Germany is closed, 6,500 people take to the streets

The plant, which has been operating in the provincial town of Saarland since 1970, has lost internal corporate competition for the production of electric cars to a factory opened in 1976 in Valencia, Spain.

Valencia offers better prospects for the future, especially financially

Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe, told the German business newspaper Handelsblatt.

He explained that the Spanish car factory was also performing better in terms of material costs and supplier base, and that the wage level in Valencia was lower than in Saarlouis.

The Ford Focus model will be produced at the plant in Germany until about mid-2025. Along with the deregistration of the model, the factory, which employs more than 6,500 people, will also be closed, because Ford will stop manufacturing conventional-powered cars and switch to electric cars, which, however, will only be produced in two plants in Europe. One location is the headquarters of Ford of Europe, Cologne, Germany, where the American company has been operating since 1931.

Handelsblatt reports that it took a long time to choose another location in Europe. Applications had to be submitted by the end of January. The Saarland Provincial Government and the Valencian Regional Government have also sought to influence the selection process, both have promised state aid of hundreds of millions of euros, The Prime Minister of the Saarland, Anke Rehlinger, even discussed Saarlouis’s bid at Ford’s U.S. headquarters.

Earlier this year, the American company Ford Model created a new business line for the design, manufacture and distribution of electric cars under this name. Together with the new commercial vehicle business, Ford Pro, it is planned to offer seven models in Europe from 2024 onwards. The company expects that by 2026, more than 600,000 electric-powered products will be sold in the European market and more than two million worldwide.

Cover image: Manfred Schmid / Getty Images

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