Ford factory could close

Ford Mondeo estate
22 Oct, 2012 6:19pm Tom Phillips

Ford calls “an emergency meeting” with unions, as fears for its factory in Genk, Belgium, escalate

The future of Ford’s factory in Genk, Belgium, has been thrown into doubt, following “an emergency meeting with senior staff and union officials earlier today.

The Genk factory is where the current Ford Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy are built on Ford’s EUCD platform. The plant employs 4,300 people.

The Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy are all due for replacement. However, instead of beginning production of the new Mondeo in Genk this month, it now seems likely that Ford will look to build it elsewhere.

The Genk plant will then be closed when the S-MAX and Galaxy reach the end of their production cycles next year, to help slow Ford’s financial losses in the European market.

As well as being a tough time to sell cars, sales of large D-segment cars like the Mondeo and traditional large MPVs have been in decline for some time, as buyers upgrade to Audi A4s, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Classes, or switch to SUVs.

The all-new Mondeo has already been delayed. A Ford spokesman said that this was to “work through various issues to ensure a robust and high-quality launch”.

However, as well as making sure the Mondeo takes the fight to the premium German brands, it now seems that the decision on where the car will be built is also affecting the next Mondeo’s launch.