For months, the approximately 4,600 employees of the Ford plant and the approximately 2,000 employees of the local supplier companies in Saarlouis had to tremble. Where will the new electric car model be built in the future? This question hung over the Saarland location like the sword of Damocles.
Valencia the “preferred location”
A decision has now been made in the bidding war with the Spanish plant in Valencia – against Saarlouis. In the future, two electric car models are to be built in Valencia.
Ford Europe boss Stuart Rowley emphasized that the decision was made after a comprehensive consultation process with both locations. Valencia is the preferred location in Europe to achieve Ford’s goal of a “fully electric future,” Rowley said in a press conference over the phone at noon.
Audio [SR 3, Yvonne Schleinhege (c) SR, 22.06.2022, Länge: 03:16 Min.]
Fordwerk Saarlouis: reactions of the employees
The future of Saarlouis is being discussed
However, the decision does not mean the end of the work in Saarland. The company has set up a task force to discuss possible future options for the Saarlouis plant with the workforce and the state government. Rowley also emphasized that both locations still have to adjust to significant restructuring.
“lied to, deceived and fooled”
Markus Thal, Chairman of the Works Council at the Saarlouis site, was deeply shocked and angry: “We were lied to, cheated and taken for a ride. For three years we were run into a wall.” In a first statement, the works councils spoke of a “framed game” and a “sham procedure”. You fought and gave everything, was the clear winner in the bidding competition and are now being robbed of your success.
current report extra from 2.40 p.m
After the decision in the bidding war at Ford, a works meeting is taking place today. The SR reports live from 2.40 p.m. in a special program “aktuellerbericht extra” about the decision against Saarlouis.
No information on job cuts
Ford Europe boss Stuart Rowley did not name a number of how many jobs might now be cut, even after repeated requests. Rowley has denied allegations that the trial was unfair. Exactly this impression had recently arisen for her – and those involved in Saarland – Saarland Prime Minister Anke Rehlinger (SPD) emphasized in the morning at a state parliament session on the subject, before the decision was official.
More than 6000 jobs at risk
For Saarland, the decision is an industrial policy blow. In addition to the 4,600 jobs at Ford itself, more than 2,000 jobs at supplier companies are also at stake. Because car production at the site is only secured until 2025, then production of the combustion model Ford Focus will be phased out.
The state government – also with the support of the federal government – put together a subsidy package to preserve the site. The package includes, for example, labor market measures, but also real estate offers for marketing the factory premises. According to Prime Minister Rehlinger, the package has a total volume of almost one billion euros.
SR reports in a special broadcast
There will also be a works meeting today to decide on the future of the Saarlouis location. The SR reports live from 2.40 p.m. in a special program on SR television and on SR.de.
The SR radio news also reported on this topic on June 22nd, 2022.