Currently reading: Ford confirms plan to close Genk factory
The Blue Oval intends to close Belgian production plant in 2014 as part of a major restructuring of its European manufacturing business

Ford has revealed plans to close its production plant in Genk, Belgium, as predicted by Autocar earlier this week. The move will cost about 4300 people their jobs.

The closure, which is subject to a consultation process with trade unions before it can be approved, is part of a proposed restructuring of Ford’s European manufacturing operations.

The European revamp has been prompted by manufacturing overcapacity stemming from a slump of more than 20 per cent in demand for new vehicles in Western Europe over the last five years.

Mondeo production has collapsed to under 90,000 units per year from a high of around 300,000 at the turn of the century. With the move towards downsizing and a continued rise in premium brand sales, European Mondeo sales are unlikely to see a turnaround.

Under the plan, vehicle production will cease at Genk by the end of 2014 and production of the next-generation Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy will switch to Ford’s Valencia Plant in Spain.

Production of the C-Max and Grand C-Max MPVs, which currently takes place at Valencia, could in turn move to Saarlouis in Germany.

"The proposed restructuring of our European manufacturing operations is a fundamental part of our plan to strengthen Ford's business in Europe and to return to profitable growth," said Ford of Europe boss Stephen Odell.

Ford will present more details of its restructuring plan tomorrow (Thursday). The company says it expects to lose around £620m in Europe this year and industry analysts say that one of the company’s main problems is that the firm has under-utilised factories, something Ford admits is one of the factors behind Genk's proposed closure.

One estimate claims Ford’s plants are running at an average of just 52 per cent of their potential maximum output.

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TegTypeR 25 October 2012

Unfortunatley, Ford are

Unfortunatley, Ford are suffering the same issues as GM with regards to plant closurers and Germany.  

The Genk plant will probably be the easiest politically to close, which is the wrong way to look at it but the most efficient for Ford.


Flatus senex 25 October 2012

Mondeo name does not help sales in French speaking countries

We might laugh at the Renault Wind but Mondeo means "my deodorant" in colloquial French!

rickerby 24 October 2012

Its ironic that Germany is

Its ironic that Germany is probably Ford of Europes weakest market. Most Germans wouldnt be seen dead behind the wheel of a Blue Oval product and yet Ford remain absolutely committed to manufacturing in the country. By contrast the UK probably absorbs more Ford cars than most of the other European markets put together yet Ford now seem to be completely turning their back and axing the Southampton Transit plant as well as Genk. The UK probably takes about 90% of Transit production! If Fords production actually aligned with markets where they sold vehicles not only would Southampton be thriving, but Mondeo production would be on the way here as well.