The president of Ford Europe, Stuart Rowley, has warned that “it is foreseeable” that the factory in Almussafes (Valencia), as well as the factory in Saarlouis (Germany), must undergo a resizing of its current structure, regardless of which of the the two will be awarded the production of the platform for the new generation of electric vehicles in Europe.
Likewise, he has pointed out that the choice of a factory for this production is not “a decision to close” the other, since the multinational is “actively looking for future opportunities for the plant that is not selected”, something that will require “an effort that includes multiple parties, including local and national governments”.
This has been explained in a statement released among the staff this Tuesday, in which the president of Ford Europe has made a “brief update” on the process to award the company’s new electric vehicles in Europe in the coming years, a charge of work disputed between the Valencian factory and the Saarlouis factory.
Rowley has specified that the multinational plans to make the decision “at the end of June” after a process in which they have compiled and evaluated the “exhaustive” information that helps make the decision on which factory will be selected. The consultations with the teams of the plants and the unions will continue until the same June, he has detailed.
In this framework, the president of Ford Europe has clarified that “regardless of the plant that is ultimately selected, it is important to remember that it is not yet a product investment decision” and that after the selection of the plant it will be “a lot of work to do to secure the product for Europe.”
“This is not a decision to close a plant either”, remarked Rowley, who has also indicated that “it is foreseeable that both Saarlouis and Valencia will have to undergo a resizing of their current structure” whose exact details will not be known until the management of the multinational choose the factory that will produce the electric vehicle platform.
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The president of Ford Europe has outlined in his statement the current panorama of the multinational, which is experiencing “the greatest transformation that the industry has seen in more than a hundred years”. “We see strong new competitors emerging and traditional manufacturers reinventing themselves as Europe becomes the first region in the world to demand an end to combustion engine vehicles,” he noted.
In addition, he has referred to the geopolitical environment and the war in Ukraine, which “are creating additional complexities and uncertainties, not only for Ford but for the entire” automobile industry.
Rowley thanks the workers who, despite these challenges, have shown “tremendous focus and commitment to help Ford become an industry leader in Europe, with a new generation of electric vehicles and connectivity services.”
The president highlights that the multinational, in the last quarter alone, has announced nine new electric vehicles in Europe by 2023 and plans to sell more than 600,000 electric vehicles in Europe by 2026. He has also referred to the launch of FordPro and the increase in production of the E-Transit in Turkey, among other aspects.