March 16, 2009
Cologne, Germany – Ford of Europe has announced it will cut production and reduce the amount it sources from suppliers in light of significantly reduced demand.
“Cutting capacity, reducing costs and safeguarding our future product plans are essential actions for Ford of Europe to sustain a viable business for the future,” said John Fleming, chairman and CEO. “We have already taken a number of actions but, as the market has continued to weaken substantially, we are now taking additional necessary actions.”
The announced actions primarily affect manufacturing operations in Germany and Spain, and a new manufacturing facility in Craiova, Romania. Its Valencia Plant in Spain will move from three to two shifts from May 1; current Fiesta production will continue at Valencia, and Ford Focus production will be replaced by the next-generation Ford C-MAX. The plant will also produce a new 2.0-litre version of Ford’s EcoBoost gasoline engine.
The Saarlouis Plant in Germany will continue with its current downtime plan; it has been confirmed as the lead plant for all derivatives of the next-generation Focus, while the current Ford Kuga and Ford C-MAX models will not be replaced there when production ends at the plant. Ford has also confirmed it is reviewing the opportunity for a second European source for a version of the next-generation Ford Focus, and that this review will be finalized in the near future.
“Ford of Europe must return to sustainable profitability as soon as possible,” Fleming said. “We will do whatever it takes to ensure the continuing viability of our business, and further actions can be expected.”