Ford’s European manufacturing plans become a little clearer

Ford’s long term manufacturing strategy for Europe has been uncertain for some time, but recent developments suggest that the company now has a clear view of what it wants to do in the region. There had been some thoughts that it would follow GM and exit from the region but with clarity on model allocations for its factories its commitment to the region is evident once again.

Although its Saarlouis factory in Germany will close in a couple of years, the Cologne factory is the centre of its electric transition and is currently undertaking a slow ramp-up of production of the Explorer EV crossover, with a second model, probably called Capri due next year. The Craiova plant in Romania is now managed by Ford-Otosan, the commercial vehicle JV which also runs the giant Kocaeli complex in Turkey, itself containing two factories, Golcuk and Yenikoy; the latter produces the Transit Custom and the new VW Transporter, albeit on separate final assembly lines. And recently, the uncertainty or fog surrounding Ford’s Valencia plant has begun to clear.

Reports from Spain, albeit quoting the country’s Industry Minister rather than Ford itself, suggest that Valencia will produce a new model there from 2027. This is designed to guarantee the future of the plant, according to the government. Ford has not confirmed this, although a spokesperson had previously indicated that a partly electric or “multi energy” car would be made in Valencia. The inference would appear to be that a hybrid and potentially a full electric vehicle will be made in Spain.

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