Ford Mondeo factory in Belgium to close in 2014

24 Oct, 2012 3:21pm Jon Morgan

Ford confirms it will close its Belgian plant in response to weak sales

Ford is planning to close the factory that makes the Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy in a bid to slash costs following weak sales across Europe.

The announcement follows “an emergency meeting” with senior staff and union officials earlier this week, and means that around 4,300 jobs will be cut at the Belgium factory.

Production of the three models will move to the firm’s plant in Valencia, Spain, which currently builds the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX MPVs.

Ford’s European operations have suffered losses of $1bn (£630m) so far in 2012, with sales down 10 per cent during the first half of the year to a 17-year low. A quarter of the firm’s sales come from Europe, but it uses only 65 per cent of its manufacturing capacity in the continent.

Ford Europe chairman and CEO Stephen Odell said: “The proposed restructuring of our European manufacturing operations is a fundamental part of our plan to strengthen Ford's business in Europe and to return to profitable growth.”

Ford would neither confirm nor deny that it is planning to close its factory in Southampton, which produces the Transit van.