Issue: Oct 2012


Ford Plans to Restructure European Manufacturing Operations



Pending further study, production of the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX compact multi-purpose vehicles could move from Valencia to Saarlouis, Germany, in 2014 under the proposed plan.

by Esther Francis

Ford Motor Company announced a proposal to restructure its Europe manufacturing operations as part of its comprehensive plan to respond to structural market changes and deliver profitable growth in the region.

Ford announced its plans to end production at a major production plant in Genk, Belgium, by the end of 2014, pending the outcome of a consultation process with employee representatives. If the plan is confirmed, Ford would resource several vehicles to more fully utilize its European plants.

The plan would help to address manufacturing overcapacity stemming from a more than 20 percent drop in total industry vehicle demand in Western Europe since 2007. New vehicle sales in the region have reached a nearly 20-year low this year and are expected to remain flat or fall further next year.

"The proposed restructuring of our European manufacturing operations is a fundamental part of our plan to strengthen Ford's business in Europe and to return to profitable growth," said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.

"We understand the impact this potential action would have on our work force in Genk, their families, our suppliers and the local communities. We fully recognize and accept our social responsibilities in this difficult situation and, if the restructuring plan is confirmed, we will ensure that we put in place measures and support to lessen the impact for all employees affected," Odell said.

The proposed plan includes the following:

* Ford has initiated an information and consultation process with representatives of employees regarding the company's intention to close Ford's underutilized Genk Plant and cease vehicle production by the end of 2014 with the reduction of approximately 4,300 positions

* If the proposed plan is confirmed, production of the next-generation Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy could move to Ford's assembly plant in Valencia, Spain

* Pending further study, production of the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX compact multi-purpose vehicles could move from Valencia to Saarlouis, Germany, in 2014 under the proposed plan


About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 168,000 employees and about 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 66,000 people when joint ventures are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford of Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (15 wholly-owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and nine unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 - the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.

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