Ford, IG Metall union agree to 3,500 job losses at German plant

Ford, IG Metall union agree to 3,500 job losses at German plant

Automotive News Europe — 2024-02-07

Automotive Industry

Ford Motor and the German union IG Metall have agreed to slash the number of jobs at a plant in Saarlouis by about 3,500 after production of the Focus compact car stops there.

Ford is ending production of the Focus, the only model built in the factory, next year as the automaker transitions to selling only battery-electric cars in Europe.

The plant's future was thrown into doubt in 2022 when Ford decided to build its next-generation electric vehicle in Spain, not Saarlouis, which has some 4,500 employees.

IG Metall said on Wednesday that about 1,000 jobs at Saarlouis would be retained after 2025. The union said there would be no forced lay offs until 2032 and that employees could leave early with an attractive and well-funded severance deal.

"We could not achieve the best solution so we decided to make do with the second-best option: to make job cuts as expensive as possible for Ford," said Joerg Koehlinger, district manager of IG Metall Mitte, on Wednesday.

In October, talks between Ford and a potential investor in the plant fell through.

BYD was reported to be among companies thinking of taking over the Saarlouis plant. BYD has since annoounced that it will open its first European passenger car factory in Hungary.