Ford chooses Spain to manufacture electric car and worries Germany

US automaker Ford announced on Wednesday that it had chosen its Spanish plant to manufacture a future electric model over a German factory with 4,600 employees whose fate worries unions.

The Valencia plant in southeastern Spain is “the preferred location for the assembly of vehicles based on the new generation of electrical architecture,” the group said in a statement.

At the Saarlouis plant in western Germany, teams will “continue to produce” a current model, but the group is “evaluating options” for the futureadded the statement.

In Spain, this announcement was welcomed by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who welcomed on Twitter its consequences for “employment”, but also by the unions, who expressed their “relief” for the 6,000 employees of the place.

This is “great news that guarantees the future of the factory”, said the secretary general of the General Workers’ Union (UGT), Pepe Alvarez. For the union, the announcement of Ford “secures a future for employees for twelve years”.

The decision of the American group, on the other hand, caused concern in Germanyand in particular within the powerful union IG Metall, which spoke out against the project presented by the management.

“The Saarlouis site with its 4,600 employees will be gradually dismantled,” the organization said. “If we count the network of suppliers, it is 6,000 jobs” in the Saar regionon the border with France, he added.

“We are not going to accept the group’s decision without there being some prospect for Saarlouis,” said Lars Desganges, a union official.

Ford, which drastically restructured its European activity with the loss of thousands of jobs and the closure of six factories, however confirmed its investment of two billion euros elsewhere, in Cologne.

The American group will produce its first all-electric European car from 2023. The aim is to offer seven new models in this category in Europe by 2024 and sell a total of 600,000 units by 2026.

Building a new model in Spain “will help us to build a profitable business in Europe”, explains the company which, according to the unions, has organized in recent months a “brutal competition” between the two factories.

The American manufacturer is collaborating for electrification with the German Volkswagen group and uses some of its technologies.

The Valencia plant in southeastern Spain is “the preferred location for the assembly of vehicles based on the new generation of electrical architecture”, the group said in a press release. from Saarlouis in western Germany, the teams “will continue to produce” a current model, but the group is “evaluating options” for the future, the press release adds. by the unions, who expressed their “relief” for the factory’s 6,000 employees. It is “great news that guarantees the future of the factory”, said the secretary general of the General Workers’ Union (UGT), Pepe Alvarez. For the union, Ford’s announcement “secures a future for employees for twelve years” of its opposition to the bill presented by management. “The Saarlouis factory with its 4,600 employees will be gradually dismantled,” it said. “If we count the network of suppliers, there are 6,000 jobs” in the Saar region, on the border with France, he added. “We are not going to accept the group’s decision without it, there is no prospect for Saarlouis”, declared Lars Desganges, a Ford, which drastically restructured its European activity with the loss of thousands of jobs and the closure of six factories, confirmed in however its €2 billion investment elsewhere, in Cologne. European electric car there from 2023. It aims to offer seven new models in Europe in this category by 2024 and sell there a total of 600,000 units by 2026. Building a new model in Spain “will help us build a profitable business in Europe”, explains the company that, according to the unions, organized in recent months a “brutal competition” between the two factories. The American manufacturer ican collaborates for electrification with the German group Volkswagen and uses some of its technologies.

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