© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Ford brand is seen on the North American Worldwide Auto Present in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Picture
By Joan Faus
BARCELONA (Reuters) -Ford Motor Co mentioned on Wednesday it would begin producing electrical automobiles in Spain later this decade however that may suggest “vital” job cuts at its Spanish manufacturing unit and one other one in Germany amid its bold electrification push in Europe.
The U.S.-based carmaker mentioned in an announcement it had chosen its plant in Valencia as the popular website to assemble automobiles based mostly on a next-generation electrical automobile (EV) structure.
The opposite contender for the undertaking was Ford’s plant in Saarlouis, Germany, which is able to proceed to provide its Focus passenger automotive solely by 2025, when automotive manufacturing will then cease, a spokesperson confirmed.
“We’re evaluating future website alternatives past that,” the spokesperson mentioned.
Workers in Valencia and Saarlouis have been informed that near-term restructuring can be required and that its dimension could be “vital”, a Ford spokesperson informed Reuters, with out elaborating.
Ford had earlier warned the shift to EV manufacturing would doubtless result in trimming its workforce as electrical automobiles require fewer labour hours to assemble.
Ford’s Valencia plant workforce is round 6,000 folks whereas Saarlouis employs round 4,600.
Spanish union UGT known as the EV plant designation “nice information” because it ensures manufacturing for over a decade, whereas the plant had seen the output of earlier fashions lowered.
The UGT mentioned it anticipated EV manufacturing to start in 2025.
However the union mentioned in an announcement the EV push will suggest discussing with Ford how the workforce can be resized.
Ford in March introduced plans for seven new electrical fashions in Europe, a battery meeting website in Germany and a nickel cell manufacturing three way partnership in Turkey.
It mentioned in 2023 it will begin producing a brand new electrical passenger automobile at Germany’s Cologne plant, whereas an EV model of its Puma mannequin could be produced in Romania from 2024.
Germany’s Volkswagen (ETR:) earlier this 12 months introduced it will begin EV manufacturing in Spain in 2025, and can open a battery manufacturing plant in Valencia.