Ford Europe has chosen the factory in Valencia, Spain, as the preferred location for vehicle assembly that will be based on the next generation of electric vehicle architecture. This means that Valencia has been given priority over the Saarland plant in Saarlouis.
Pending product decisions, the Valencia plant could produce “new, electric and connected vehicles” later this decade, according to Ford. Valencia is the “best positioned factory” for the manufacture of these vehicles. The manufacturer does not state exactly when the first electric cars will roll off the assembly line in Spain.
The Ford factory in Saarlouis was also considered as a possible location for this, but stands empty-handed after the current decision regarding electric cars. In the internal tender process, CEO Jim Farley and European Commissioner Stuart Rowley chose the Spanish factory. This has huge consequences for Saarlouis: The current models in the Focus series will be built until 2025, and the factory has not yet received any other models. So the future of the place in Saarland is at stake. One will “evaluate options for future concepts for this place,” the statement said.
Ford is aware of the implications of this decision. “We are determined to build a dynamic and sustainable business in Europe as part of our Ford + plan. This requires focus and tough decisions,” said Jim Farley. Rowley confirmed at an online press conference that they were looking for alternatives to Saarlouis “inside and outside The Ford Group “. So there is also a sale on the premises. The plant currently employs 4,600 people and about 1,500 people in the local supplier industry are dependent on the plant.
“The European automotive industry is extremely competitive and to grow and prosper, we can not settle for anything less than fantastic products, an outstanding customer experience, ultra-slim business and a talented and motivated team,” Farley continued.
The new electric vehicle architecture should help with this sustainable and profitable business model. Ford has not yet given any details about the platform. They are a “decisive step in the transformation of Ford in Europe into a completely electric future”, it has been said so far. One thing is clear: by 2030, the American brand will only want to sell electric cars in Europe.
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However, Cologne will remain the German site for Ford’s electric car manufacturing in Europe, where, as reported, the first Ford electric model based on Volkswagen’s MEB will be built from 2023 and the second from 2024.
“Ford is investing heavily in the manufacture of electric vehicles in Germany, and we feel a special obligation to Germany as the country of our European headquarters,” said Rowley. “We look forward to developing these projects together with our partners in Germany and throughout the region. For our new vehicle generations in Europe, we need outstanding product designers, state-of-the-art vehicle technology and manufacturing technology, optimized procurement and further development of our factories to fully adapt them to an electrified future. “
In addition to Cologne and Valencia, Ford will also build electric cars at its Romanian plant in Craiova, specifically an electric version of the Puma. The Transit Courier e-panel van will also roll off the assembly line in Craiova. Ford Otosan is building the larger light commercial vehicles Transit Custom (including PHEV) and E-Transit in Turkey.
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