Ford assigns the production of a new vehicle to the Valencia plant

Ford confirmed on Thursday that the factory in Almussafes (Ribera Baixa) will manufacture a new "multi-energy" passenger vehicle that will be added to the product line in Europe.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
29 March 2024 Friday 17:03
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Ford assigns the production of a new vehicle to the Valencia plant

Ford confirmed on Thursday that the factory in Almussafes (Ribera Baixa) will manufacture a new "multi-energy" passenger vehicle that will be added to the product line in Europe. The model would be an SUV, as reported by the Reuters agency, citing company sources. The news was announced after the meeting held on Wednesday in Dunton (United Kingdom) between the company's global management and the UGT-PV union, the majority in the works committee.

Ford's decision guarantees the immediate future of the plant, in full ERTE and from this month with only one vehicle in production, the Kuga. The company assured that "given the changes that occur in the industry", there is an opportunity to add a new product to the Almussafes factory, although the decision is subject "to the approval of the program" . The details of this new assignment could be known on April 10, after a new meeting between the company and the workforce that will be held in Cologne (Germany).

The decision is linked to the new Ford line, which this week launched the new electric Explorer produced in Cologne, identified as "a new era" for its business in Europe. Already in an internal communication sent to the workforce, the management of the company emphasized that the new allocation for Valencia "will provide workload for the plant", one of the first concerns of the unions. "There will be solutions for Almussafes, although logically it will not be a matter of a few days", the union pointed out.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, emphasized through the X social network that Ford's commitment "guarantees the viability of the Almussafes plant for the coming years", and celebrated that the long-term work of the Spanish Government with the autonomous communities "bear their fruits". The workforce at the Valencian plant is currently 4,800 people.

The president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Carlos Mazón, assessed the announcement as a "success", in which "the management of Ford, the workers, the current and previous administrations have been involved".

Uncertainty has been hovering over Almussafes for years, with several ERTOs, the latest active these days, and a recent ERO that affected more than 1,000 workers. The production of the plant has been reduced by nearly 40% since 2018, although in 2021 it was chosen to produce an electric motor. A year later, it won the battle against Saarlouis (Germany) to produce the new platform in Europe of Ford electric vehicles, but the investments for this have not yet been finalized. In November, the company decided to postpone any investment decisions.

To the many celebrations in the business sector for the news was added the request from the auxiliary industry for greater concreteness. The president of the Valencian automotive cluster, Francisco Segura, pointed out that "it is very important to know the exact dates and volumes to be able to correctly plan the work of all the suppliers".