Ford Almussafes beat the German factory in Saarlouis in the race to acquire the last two electric models that the firm had not yet sold, which guarantees the future of the Valencian factory and the rest of the value chain. A news that workers and administrations were eagerly awaiting, since the future of the factory was at stake due to the expiration of its models -Transit, Galaxy and S-Max-.
This was confirmed by sources from the Ministry of Industry to this newspaper that they explained that “the assistance of the Strategic Projects for the recovery and economic transformation (LOSS) of the electric vehicle and the negotiations in the United States have played a fundamental role in the attribution of the new models to the Ford works in Almussafes”.
President of Ford Europe and Director of Transformation and Quality, Stuart Rowleyannounced that Almussafes has been the factory chosen to manufacture the new generation of electric vehicles in Europe, starting from “later this decade”. The Ford Europe boss highlighted the “transparency and clarity” with which the decision was made by the company and highlighted the extensive consultations with both parties for around six months.
Likewise, Rowley reiterated, as he had previously argued in May, that the “next steps” will, however, be “restructure” the Almussafes and Saarlouis factories, since she explained that the process of producing electric vehicles requires “fewer employees” than manufacturing a model to use.
The award represents a guarantee of continuity for the Valencian factory beyond 2025, since Almussafes, after losing production of the Ford Mondeo this year, planned to gradually stop manufacturing the rest of the models until it only kept the Kuga in 2025, which represents half of current production. Now you’ll have controls for new electric models when the time comes.
Almussafes gains in competitiveness
Almussafes has several tricks that have worked in its favor. The wages they are a third lower than in Germany, which makes the plant more competitive. In addition, the Spanish works council accepted in the new labor agreement wage restrictions and to extend the working day by an additional 15 minutes to make its offer more attractive.
A decision that was taken without taking into account the construction of a battery factory in Sagunto (Valencia) -as reported by OKDIARIO-, nor the construction of the Mediterranean corridor for the transport of cars by rail from Spain to central Europe.
As to whether the differences between the energy costs played some role in the decision, the company official indicated that the current price crisis was not taken into account in the selection process and noted that Ford will invest in promoting green energy in all of the multinational’s facilities across all of its locations.