The European Commission has decided to launch a formal inquiry into plans by the Belgian government to grant regional aid to help carmaker Ford convert its Genk plant in Flanders to produce the new Ford Transit model.

An important condition for the approval of such aid measure under the car framework, is that the project has to be located in the region in question. “The Belgian authorities, however, have simply informed the Commission that Genk is the perfect location for the project and have not pointed out other possible locations,” said the Commission, adding that it doubted whether the project could be considered geographically mobile and therefore, that the aid was necessary.

The Ford Genk case is the latest in a line of several similar cases, including aid to a Fiat factory in Southern Italy, a new Volkswagen assembly plant in Dresden, and aid concerning the Rover plant in Longbridge, UK.