By on September 13, 2012

GM is not the only U.S. automaker that wants to close a plant in Europe, and Ford is thinking about more than the end of the road for Alan Mulally. German press, from the industry magazine Automobil Produktion to the German edition of the Wall Street Journal are talking about Ford shuttering its plant in Genk, Belgium.

Neither of them received a confirmation by Ford.

The Genk plant is home to 4,000 workers. Their misfortunes could be good news for UAW members. Genk predominately makes the Ford Mondeo, sold in the U.S. as the Fusion. Ford is increasing capacities stateside. “If European models would roll off the lines in America, shuttering the Belgian location would be reasonable,” orcacles the WSJ.

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19 Comments on “Media: Ford To Close Plant In Belgium, Export American Cars To Europe...”

  • avatar

    Somehow I think the EU Commission will have some comments on this don’t you?

  • avatar

    Ford has overcapacity in Europe anyway, and Belgium seems to be an easy target – GM, Renault and even British Leyland gave their Belgian plants the axe as soon as the chips were down. I guess Spanish employees (Ford also has a factory in Valencia) come a lot cheaper.

    Volvo and Audi both have a presence in Belgium, but I would bet that if one of those companies get into trouble, they’ll never close a plant in their homeland over the one abroad…

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    I bet the Mondeo has become a niche car in EU. Wouldn’t surprise me if production for all markets will come from the NAFTA area.

  • avatar

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the U.S. spec Fusion made in Mexico? If so I would imagine that the Mondeo would be made on the same line. Viva el cheapo assembly.

  • avatar

    I can only imagine the violent internet commenter riots outside America’s Atlantic ports as the AWD, 2.0L diesel, 6-speed manual Mondeo wagons are loaded for shipment to Europe.

  • avatar

    1.5 hour drive to the Niehl Pilot Plant, half of that to the Lommel Proving Grounds… that would be very similar to when Ford shuttered Wixom. The local union contract expires in 2014. Seeing they just launched a new platform there, this doesn’t pass the smell test.

    Then again, Norfolk Assembly got shut down right after it received a flexible body shop.

  • avatar

    Just like doing a contract before GM or Chryco could helped push them into bankruptcy, closing a plant in belgium before Opel has a chance too (thus setting the cost as they did with the UAW), Ford can help push Opel over the edge and they would be primary beneficiaries. They aren’t going to close plant in Germany or England now and spain is the 4th largest economy in EU, Belgium is completely disfunctional (doesn’t have a functioning government currently and a debt/gdp ratio that would make the greeks happy.)

  • avatar

    From a capacity persepctive, shuttering a European plant to centre Fusion/Mondeo production make sense. However, having a European plant provides a natural currency hedge. Look at whats happening to the Japanese manufacturers with the strong Yen. It could be the same for Ford/GM if they shutter plants in Europe now. Need to look at the wider picture.

  • avatar

    It should be remembered that Ford’s Belgian plant also produces Volvos, but maybe the Swedes will be complicit in closing the facility as Geely looks to fill capacity at the series of plants they’re obliged to build in China.

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