It’s a bit perfidious what Ford has started in Europe
The two European plants in Saarlouis in Saarland and in Valencia in Spain should compete against each other – and apply for a new electric car, so to speak. It was about costs and subsidies.
It doesn’t matter who bid what in the end. In any case, one thing is clear: one wanted to put together a better package than the other – because if you get nothing now, in the worst case the lights could go out for you.
The preliminary decision as to who will get the new car has now been made – but it will only be announced on Wednesday afternoon. Now things are getting exciting for the 4,600 employees at the Saarlouis plant: around noon, they meet for the works meeting. And there is much to suggest that there will be bad news for them. Either way.
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Around the same time as the works meeting, Ford Europe wants to announce which plant is allowed to produce the new electric car – and Saarlouis will probably go away empty-handed.
The problem: The Ford Focus will expire in Saarland in 2025 and the workforce urgently needs approval for a new car.
Even with good news, jobs are likely to be lost
Even if Saarlouis were to be awarded the contract, the works meeting shouldn’t be a party.
Because there is much to suggest that jobs would still be lost: electric cars have fewer parts and require fewer staff. And so, even with good news, there should be hundreds of jobs available in Saarlouis.
In the event that Saarlouis does not get the contract for the new car, a worse scenario threatens. It has not yet been decided whether the plant will be closed or sold. What Plan B would look like for the plant without the new car is unlikely to be discussed until Ford has announced where it expects to produce the new car.
In the end, however, even the winning work at Ford has to continue to tremble: After Ford Europe, the headquarters in the USA also have to approve the decision. In about a year, even the winner could still come away empty-handed.
Thousands of employees and their families – not only at Ford but also at suppliers – will have to continue to tremble for the time being. In order to prevent an unworthy game, Ford has to clarify things quickly.