The future of the factory Ford in Spain is once again surrounded by uncertainty. After more than a year and a half has passed since the manufacturer announced the choice of the Almussafes (Valencia) plant to assemble one of its electric car platforms, the brand has opted to “postpone any decision that has to do with investments related to electrification”as reported by UGT after a meeting with the Director of Operations of Ford Motor Company, Kumar Galhotra.
The visit of the executives to the Ford headquarters in Detroit has confirmed the worst omens of the workers at the Valencian facilities, who have seen how the announcement of the new electric models and the investments to be able to adapt to them did not come to fruition. in recent months. At the same time, the plant’s production continues to be cut due to the end of the life cycle of most of the models produced by the Spanish plant.
Ford has in fact already given up the aid from the first Electric and Connected Vehicle Perte last year considering that it would not carry out the necessary investments within the deadlines required by that program with European funds.
In its statement to the workforce, UGT, the majority union at the factory, assures that the brand representatives have justified this change of step by “the delay that the electric vehicle market is experiencing“. For the union, this decision places “on the wire” both to the Valencian plant as the set of Ford in Europewhose future he believes is once again in question after the multinational has already reduced its size in the old continent in recent years.
In the case of the Valencian plant, the lack of dates to decide on investments aggravates the lack of current workload. The Spanish subsidiary has already undertaken a significant cut in staff, with an ERE for 1,124 workers this yearbut with the electrification project that guaranteed the continuity of production compared to what happened at the German plant in Saarlouis, which was headed for closure after Ford chose the Valencian plant.
Lack of workload
In the short term, Ford Almussafes will stop producing the Transit Conect in April, which will only maintain one model, the Kuga, which anticipates new labor adjustments at the factory that currently employs 4,800 people.
Given this situation and the lack of dates for investments in electric vehicles, UGT demands that the production of hybrid models be guaranteed for this transition period. The works committee considers that the minimum production level to guarantee the workforce should be around 200,000 units annually.
It also demands a review date for the electrification plan and the union also refuses to negotiate more flexibility measures, since it considers that the company has not complied with the electrification agreement reached and in which the working conditions demanded by the company were guaranteed. .