AutosFord to discontinue Focus production at Saarlouis: 3,500 layoffs expected

Ford to discontinue Focus production at Saarlouis: 3,500 layoffs expected

Focus production in Saarlouis
Focus production in Saarlouis
Images source: © Press materials | Ford
3:41 AM EST, February 8, 2024

News regarding Ford's intended layoffs has been circulating for a while. However, final decisions have now been solidified through agreements with trade unions. Ford and IG Metall have consented to a reduction of employment in Saarlouis. An estimated 3,500 workers will be affected by these cuts.

"Reuters" reports that the primary reason is the planned discontinuation of the Focus production - the lone model produced in German facilities. The future of these facilities has been up in the air since 2022, when Ford announced that the Focus would be taken off the market. In its place, an electric model built on an entirely new platform, which will be produced in Spain, is set to be offered.

IG Metall states only about 1,000 employees will remain in Saarlouis after 2025. Furthermore, these layoffs will be implemented through voluntary departures, early retirements, and substantial severance packages.

"We couldn't come up with the best solution, so we opted for the second-best alternative: making the job cuts as expensive as possible for Ford," said Joerg Koehlinger, the regional director of IG Metall Mitte, on Wednesday.

As of now, the future direction of the Saarlouis factory is unpredictable. One of the companies showing interest in Ford's factory is the Chinese firm BYD. However, no final decisions have been made yet.

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