COLOGNE, Germany – Ford Motor is realigning its manufacturing plans to support an aggressive, product-led growth strategy in Europe.
The company announced new manufacturing sourcing plans in Spain, Germany, Romania and Turkey. The moves are expected to increase Ford’s manufacturing productivity and retain flexibility as the company prepares to launch at least 20 all-new or significantly freshened vehicles in the next three years, leveraging Ford's global product portfolio.
“We’ve come through the worst of the economic crisis as a strong and profitable company, and we have a full pipeline of exciting vehicles coming to market,” said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe, who announced the moves by Ford at a news conference in Valencia, Spain. “Now we are taking the right actions to grow profitably in Europe.
“The product sourcing actions announced today – together with our existing sourcing plans for our other European plants – will enable us make the best use of our total production capacity, and provides us with a solid base from which to grow our production volumes in the years ahead.”
Under the plan, Ford’s assembly plants in Valencia, Spain, and Saarlouis, Germany, will be dedicated to manufacturing C-segment vehicles, while Ford’s operations in Cologne, Germany and Craiova, Romania, will build B-segment vehicles and small fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines.
Ford announced the following manufacturing plans:
- Ford plans call for its plant in Valencia, Spain, to build the next-generation Ford Transit Connect and Ford Kuga. The plant remains the sole European production source for the all-new Ford C-MAX, and will continue to build Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine. Ford expects to add several hundred jobs at the plant to support the production plans
- Ford's plant in Saarlouis, Germany, which builds the full Ford Focus range, will produce the Focus Electric pure battery-electric vehicle starting late next year. In the future, the plant also will build the next-generation Ford Focus, which follows the current model. The plant will add approximately 150 permanent jobs to support the production plans, including building the Focus Electric
- Ford's plant in Cologne, Germany, will build a freshened version of the Ford Fiesta that goes into production next year, as well as the next-generation version of the Fiesta which will be built in the future. The plant also begins producing the new fuel-efficient 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine later this year. Approximately 50 permanent jobs will be added in Cologne.
- Ford’s Craiova, Romania, plant will build the all-new Ford B-MAX from early 2012 and will manufacture a second B-segment vehicle in the future. The plant also will begin producing the new fuel-efficient 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine in early 2012. Ford also re-confirmed its commitment to invest in excess of €675 million to transform Craiova into a modern and globally-competitive manufacturing facility.
- Ford Otosan’s plant in Kocaeli, Turkey, is to build an all-new light commercial vehicle in addition to the next-generation Transit commercial vehicle. Ford Otosan is to continue providing engineering for the next-generation Transit Connect to be built in Spain. Ford has previously confirmed that its Southampton Plant in Britain will produce the chassis cab derivative of the next-generation Ford Transit.
“We are making very efficient investment decisions that position us to leverage improved capacity utilisation, greater component and supplier synergies, and increase our productivity, while retaining a high level of flexibility to quickly meet customer demands,” said Ken MacFarlane, vice president, Manufacturing, Ford of Europe.
The product sourcing announcement comes a week after Ford and Sollers, Russia's second-largest producer of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, confirmed in Moscow that they will establish a joint venture, Ford Sollers, to manufacture and sell Ford vehicles in the country.
The joint venture is key to Ford of Europe’s overall growth strategy as it will enable Ford to deliver more vehicles and enhanced service to customers in Russia, which is set to become Europe’s largest vehicle market by mid-decade.