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.

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They can't wait to leave Western Europe! They have no loyalty to all the mugs that buy Ford. Why anyone would want to buy a Ford anyway is beyond me. Never been much good. And now looking somewhat overpriced.

Mugs! Are you really that sad to judge people on their choice of vehicle? You must be all of 14 years of age or lead a very shallow sad little life!

With the exception of the last Fiesta, you'd have to go back a long time to find a European Ford that wasn't at the top of it's class in terms of drivability. I'm talking at least 15 years.

At the end of the day ford is a company! The aim of any company is to make a profit! You cant blame them for this restructuring plan. Yes it might mean job losses but continuing like this will only serve to wind up the entire European arm.

Bring back the good ole RWD Cortina, it never let Ford down sales wise & Jobs wise in the UK

Hope Ford does not shutter the Transit plant in Southamton, that would be devastating for jobs in the area.

"Good" ole Cortina was not nice, putting it mildly, on a slippery road

Ford are making some really good cars let down by useless dealers. Their cars have also become very expensive. A shame this factory & now the Transit factory will close, who knows where it will end? That explains why the new Mondeo has been delayed, another boat missed there Ford!!

European car sales are down by a third and even before that there was serious overcapacity. There will be a lot more closures - the alternative is to go bust.

Cars have moved on since the 1980's Paul Hitchcock, BMW make some of the best handling cars in the world right now according to the last programme in the Top Gear Series. BMW 3 Series diesel model returns up to a magnificent 80.1 MPG as well.

Cortina/Taunus was always No1 for most of its life in UK/Europe today the Mondeo is No 55 in Europe/No 22 in UK sales wise.

A modern fuel efficient Cortina maybe made in the UK would be win win for both Ford/UK

Will be buying a nice quality Rear Wheel Drive BMW 3 Series diesel instead of a Ford next year. Please correct me if l am wrong but the BMW 3 drivers car is outselling the Mondeo at over 2 to 1 ratio these days.

Have owned a few Cortina's in the past they were a nice little earner for Ford great little car very sought after, just like the Model-T.
was in their day.

Nothing wrong with the good ole Cortina, that a modern update/refresh could not fix. But sad to say for Ford, only BMW make the car l will be buying next year with legendary German build quality.

Ah! I see. Never does any good to look backwards, as Cortinas were apt to do on an icy road.

Ford cannot rely on the Europeans to buy its cars,
and neither could we, traditionally the French and Italian in the main buy their own cars along with German models, the Spanish will buy Fords so it makes sense to build them in Spain.
I hope Ford stay in England but they do seem to be
slipping behind the competition in the van market and Ford dealerships also seem to be dwindling and that’s probably why we see so many Renault Citroen and Fiat vans on our roads.

Such a shame. The larger car sector appears to be completely catered for by BMW and Audi now with Mondeo struggling to pick up sales despite its obvious capabilities.
Ford must also be concerned that the likes of Hyundai and Kia are eating away at the small and medium sectors with well packaged cars and generous warranties, even if the driving experience is still a little lacklustre from those manufacturers.
The only hope is that the new Focus, Fiesta and Ka ranges with their innovative EcoBoost engines will fly the flag and provide a sales injection, and perhaps Mondeo could be re-developed over time to give us back our much missed mid-sector rear wheel drive saloon.
As for people on here commenting about Ford being poor, obviously you're entitled to your opinion but it's hardly valid - ever since Focus in 1998 Ford has been the standard setter, it's just that the buying public is blinded by a premium badge.
Finally, Old Fred, BMW's magical 80mpg claims are proven to be utter nonsense...

Never been much good? Utter tosh. With you on the pricing though.
Ford is not viewed as a premium badge but is priced that way, meanwhile the Korean brands are taking chunks out of Ford's bread and butter small and medium ranges.
If Ford are struggling though, Vauxhall must be ready to throw in the towel with their attrocious Astra and Insignia models.