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Mercury C557
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Ford summons Genk unions, fueling closure fears - AutoNews
October 22, 2012 13:42 CET


BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- Ford Motor Co. called an emergency meeting with unions at its car plant in Genk, Belgium, amid mounting expectations that the automaker is preparing to close the factory.

Ford has summoned staff representatives to a meeting with European executives on Wednesday without providing an agenda, union officials said on Monday.

"No one is allowed to tell us anything," said an official with the ABVV Metaal union. "We're assuming it will be a very serious announcement."

A Ford spokesman declined to comment on the meeting or its purpose. "We will not comment on discussions with our unions," he said.

The plant in Genk, eastern Belgium, employs 4,300 workers to build the Mondeo mid-size car and Galaxy and S-Max minivans. All three models are approaching the end of their current life cycles.

Unions in Genk had said last month they were more optimistic about the plant's future after Ford set a date to start production of the new Mondeo next October.

According to sources with knowledge of production plans, however, Ford is prepared to wind down the facility and build the Mondeo elsewhere. The tentative start date is not a reprieve for Genk, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the plans were confidential.

Low utilization...


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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #2
Ford summons Genk unions, fuelling closure fears - 4-traders.com
10/22/2012| 09:35am US/Eastern


...Pressure for European plant closures has been growing as the region's protracted auto-market slump racks up ever deeper losses from idled sites. Ford doubled its European loss forecast to $1 billion in July and said action was needed to "decrease our production to match real demand".

Ford is due to present third-quarter financial results to investors and reporters on October 30.

Unions in Genk had said last month they were more optimistic about the plant's future after Ford set a date to start production of the new Mondeo next October.

According to sources with knowledge of production plans, however, Ford is prepared to wind down the facility and build the Mondeo elsewhere. The tentative start date is not a reprieve for Genk, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the plans were confidential.

Genk's closure, if confirmed, would be Belgium's second car factory decommissioning in two years, after General Motors scrapped its Antwerp site in 2010. It would leave the country with two assembly plants, Volvo's in Ghent and Volkswagen's Audi facility in Brussels.

The scale of Ford's European losses has fuelled speculation that it will join PSA Peugeot Citroen and Opel in announcing a major plant closure.

Paris-based Peugeot unveiled plans in July to cut 8,000 additional jobs and close a domestic plant in Aulnay, near the French capital. Opel is in talks with unions on a restructuring plan leading to the eventual closure of its factory in Bochum, Germany.

In a recent research note, New York-based UBS analyst Colin Langan predicted that Ford would move to close a major plant in Europe, where its factories are running at 52 percent of maximum output on average this year.

"Ford is most likely to close its assembly plant in Genk," Langan said, citing the factory's "consistently low utilization level".

Shuttering the Belgian factory would cost an estimated $1.1 billion euros and generate annual savings of $730 million, Langan also said.
 

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Mercury C557
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BELGIUM: Unions blockade Ford Genk gates as 'European crisis' only agenda topic - Just-Auto.com
By Simon Warburton | 23 October 2012


Belgian unions are currently blockading the gates of Ford's Genk site as it has emerged only one topic - 'European crisis' - will be on the agenda of tomorrow's (24 October) emergency meeting.

Intense speculation in Belgium is centering on fears the automaker could announce a significant restructuring tomorrow at the plant employing 4,300 staff with thousands more supply workers on the same site.

All of Belgian's unions involved in the local Works Council have been summoned by Ford to the emergency meeting tomorrow at the Genk plant, while the manufacturer will also travel to Brussels to see the Flemish President and Belgian Prime Minister.

"They have blocked the gates so no car can leave the plant," ABVV-FGTB union cabinet staff member, Rudi Kennes told just-auto from Belgium. "All three unions are blocking the gates. The agenda topic is what I got on the phone by [ABVV] secretary there, 'European crisis.' There is only one point on the agenda, which is 'European crisis,' period.

[Tomorrow] "They [Ford] have the exceptional Works Council and then they travel to Brussels and the European management has a meeting with the President of Flanders, Kris Peeters and the Federal Prime Minister of Belgium, Elio dei Rupo."

Kennes added Genk is currently on a temporary shut-down due to last until the end of this week, with production slated to restart next Monday (29 October).

Only last month, it seemed likely Ford would continue assembly of the successors to the Galaxy and S-MAX models at Genk, but tomorrow's meeting has thrown this into doubt.

The union spokesman said he did not think Belgian politicians were aware of any more information, but the Flanders government is believed to have committed EUR28m (US$36m) to Ford Genk and will be keen to hear the outcome of Wednesday's meeting following its experience of GM and its Antwerp plant, which saw more than 1,000 workers lose their jobs.

Ford in Germany confined itself to noting to just-auto yesterday: "We are not going to comment on discussions with our unions."
 

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Ford to move production of new models from Belgium to Spain: union

Ford Motor Co will transfer the production of new versions of its Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy models to Valencia, Spain, from Belgium, union representative Luc Prenen said on Wednesday. The Belgian plant, which currently makes all three models, was to have started producing the new Mondeo in October 2013.

This is all the info currently at the linked article.

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2012/10/24/ford-to-move-production-new-models-from-belgium-to-spain-union/#ixzz2ACpFsNIs
 

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Ford Plans to Restructure European Manufacturing Operations
  • Ford starts consultation process in Belgium on plan to close its Genk Plant and to cease vehicle production by the end of 2014
  • The plan, pending the outcome of the consultation process, could result in the transfer of the next-generation Ford Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy to Ford’s Valencia Plant in Spain
  • Pending further study, production of the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX compact multi-purpose vehicles could move from Valencia to Saarlouis, Germany, in 2014 under the proposed plan.
  • Company to provide more details of its overall transformation plan for Europe during a financial analyst and media conference call Thursday
COLOGNE, Germany, Oct. 24, 2012 – Ford Motor Company today announced a proposal to restructure its Europe manufacturing operations as part of its comprehensive plan to respond to structural market changes and deliver profitable growth in the region.
Ford announced its plans to end production at a major production plant in Genk, Belgium, by the end of 2014, pending the outcome of a consultation process with employee representatives. If the plan is confirmed, Ford would resource several vehicles to more fully utilize its European plants.
The plan would help to address manufacturing overcapacity stemming from a more than 20 percent drop in total industry vehicle demand in Western Europe since 2007. New vehicle sales in the region have reached a nearly 20-year low this year and are expected to remain flat or fall further next year.
“The proposed restructuring of our European manufacturing operations is a fundamental part of our plan to strengthen Ford’s business in Europe and to return to profitable growth,” said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.

Ford press release:

http://media.ford.com/news/fordplanstorestructureeuropeanmanufacturingoperations.htm
 

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I was wondering why the Mondeo release was scheduled so much later than Fusion.
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #10
Ford to scrap Belgian plant to stem Europe losses - Reuters
By Robert-Jan Bartunek and Nigel Davies
Wed Oct 24, 2012


(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) will close a Belgian factory employing more than 4,000 workers, shifting production to Spain as the U.S. automaker scrambles to cut costs and stem European losses.

It was the third time this year that a mass-market carmaker has announced plans to close a plant in Europe as the region's debt crisis, government spending cuts and high unemployment hit consumer budgets and demand for new cars.

Ford said it would shut its Genk plant in eastern Belgium, with the loss of about 4,300 jobs by the end of 2014, transferring the work to a plant in Valencia...


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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #11
found my prediction posts
Link: "Ford not closing any European Plants" thread


2b2, on 07 August 2012 - 12:11 PM, said:
...if I've learned nothing else, it's that when Ford states something as "presently" or just doesn't state a specific future date/range,
it's only good FOR THAT MOMENT.

ex: when Ford said on Aug. 2 that they have no plans at present to bring Lincoln to China (Bloomberg)
that^
expired at 12:01am Aug. 3 and no longer has any meaning.

2b2, on 07 August 2012 - 01:54 PM, said:
my comment above COULD also apply to the case of closing a plant in Europe, I fully expect a Fomoco spokesperson to say something about "AS A LAST RESORT" in about a month
with the Closure Announcement about another month after that...possibly

pre-edit
on 2nd thought, replace ^CLOSURE^ with "CONSOLIDATION"
much more 'Fordish'



hmm...seems I was wrong about them using "consolidation"
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #13
also
Ford set to close Transit plant and axe 500 jobs - TheSun.co.UK
by KEN GIBSON, Motoring Editor
Last Updated: 25th October 2012


FORD is expected to announce plans to close its Transit van plant in Southampton today — with the loss of 500 jobs.

The US car giant is looking to cut predicted £630million losses in Europe this year...

...Last night Southampton Labour MP John Denham said it would be “devastating” if the factory shuts. He added: “Huge numbers of families would be affected.”

Ford has already announced plans to cut several hundred UK jobs, including nearly 300 voluntary redundancies at its operations in Warley and Dunton, Essex. The Transit plant is Ford’s LAST vehicle manufacturing factory in the UK. It has built over 2.18million vans at Southampton since production started in 1972.

But the workforce was cut from around 1,000 to 500 in 2009 — when the plant moved to a one-shift operation.

Transit production is now based in Turkey. European chief executive Steve Odell said the plans would “strengthen Ford’s business in Europe and return it to profitable growth”.

Ford’s engine plants at Dagenham, Essex, and Bridgend, South Wales — that employ over 6,000 workers — are expected to escape cuts and could even see growth plans.

Europe’s car industry is suffering from huge over-capacity at its plants due to a fall in new car sales.

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4607295/Ford-to-shut-factory-in-Southampton-reports-claim.html#ixzz2AH7izM5C

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midnight update

Ford Calls Trade Unions' Meeting Amid Fears of Southampton Plant Closure - IB Times
By Prasanth Aby Thomas
October 25, 2012 7:04 AM GMT


US automobile company Ford will meet trade union representatives in the UK as fears of closure of its Transit van manufacturing plant in Southampton loom.

The company, which has struggled to cope with the eurozone debt crisis, had earlier announced plans to shut its Belgian plant, laying off 4,300 employees.

Speculations were on that Ford might announce plans to close the Southampton factory, which employs 500 people, at the trade union meeting. The carmaker has refused to confirm the reports...

...The last time Ford called an all trade union meeting in 2007 was to announce plans to shut its Leamington foundry site, which resulted in 450 redundancies, reported the Guardian, citing industry sources.

The fears were underscored by Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes, who told the BBC that she has "always had concerns for the future of the factory and it now looks like there will be an announcement tomorrow indicating that it's going to close"...

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #14
UPDATE 3 - Ford may cut more capacity if Europe outlook worsens - Reuters
Wed Nov 7, 2012
By Andreas Cremer and Jan Schwartz

Ford says further European cuts not ruled out
• No further cutbacks currently planned
• European auto market still 'volatile' -CEO
• 170 protesters burn tires, smash windows in Cologne

BERLIN, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co, which plans to close three factories and scrap 6,200 jobs in Europe to stanch losses, said on Wednesday it cannot rule out further capacity cuts in the region if the auto market deteriorates further.

While Ford has no current plans for further capacity cuts - which can range from dropping a factory shift to closing a plant - the automaker is monitoring Europe's market and economic outlook very closely, Chief Executive Alan Mulally said.

"That will determine what we do - if we do anything more," Mulally said at a conference in Berlin. "The most important thing is to match our production to the level of demand."...

EUROPE IS 'VOLATILE'
The situation in Europe remains "very volatile," Mulally said in Berlin. "We don't know whether it will stabilize or hit bottom or not because it's continuing to decrease."...

..."We needed to move decisively, also to be able to invest in new products," Mulally said. "If you don't do that, you continue to lose money and will be gone."

Ford rival General Motors, which is forging an alliance with struggling French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen , remains mired in talks with Germany's IG Metall labor union over plans to cut jobs at its Opel division and close a plant in Germany in 2017.


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