Fear in Saarlouis and Valencia: The car manufacturer Ford will only build its new electric car in one plant. In Saarland, thousands of jobs depend on the decision. According to a Spanish minister, it has now fallen.
According to a report, the car manufacturer Ford will not build its new electric car in the Saarland plant in Saarlouis, but in Spain. Industry Minister Reyes Maroto has confirmed this, reports the Spanish portal A punt. Accordingly, the group gave the contract to the plant in Almussafes near Valencia. All employees should be informed in the afternoon. Ford had announced that it would only build electric cars by 2030. Ford employs around 4,600 people in Saarlouis. Almost 2,000 additional jobs at supplier companies depend on the decision.
Under the title "Future of our location / status of the bidding process", the works council invited to a non-public works meeting. A management report is also expected. "We are currently preparing for various scenarios," said the works council. Therefore, the duration of the meeting - depending on the outcome - cannot be foreseen. The employees were asked to “plan a corresponding unlimited time window, even after 2 p.m., for this day”. Depending on the result for the location, a continuation of the works meeting on Thursday morning is also possible.
Ford is one of the largest employers in Saarland. Prime Minister Anke Rehlinger and Economics Minister Jürgen Barke recently flew to Ford in Dearborn in the USA to fight for jobs. Following this, a four-person management team appointed by European boss Stuart Rowley came to Saarland for further talks last week. Both sides had agreed not to disclose the interim results.
The head of the Saarland SPD faction, Ulrich Commerçon, meanwhile criticized the Ford management before the announcement of the decision. It "pitted thousands of workers in Saarlouis and Valencia against each other in an ice-cold and ruthless manner," he said. Management not only robbed people of their sleep, "it also robbed them of their dignity in a way." "What a shame!" said Commerçon. "The Saarland has always stood by Ford, now Ford must also stand by the Saarland." If the competition between Saarlouis and Valencia was "tricked" in a so-called bidding process, "then it must be the most expensive plant closure in Ford's history."
The CDU parliamentary group leader Stephan Toscani said that the country had "reached the limits of its financial capacity" with its offer to Ford. The Saarland "not just made any offer, but the best offer". For years, workers have lived in uncertainty about the future. They would have supported short-time work, the cancellation of a night shift and the elimination of entire production lines in order to secure the location: "You deserve a reliable future perspective all the more now."