Fords C-Max

Ford's C-Max

Ford is reportedly in negotiations with worker representatives about possible job reductions at its German Saarlouis car manufacturing plant. Reuters reported that Ford is considering ending production of the C-Max model which is made there.

Ford is expected to restructure its loss-making European operations and recently announced some changes to its management structure at Ford of Europe.

"We can confirm that we are entering into formal negotiations with our Works Council with the objective of ending production of C-Max/Grand C-Max at Saarlouis," Ford said in a statement, according to Reuters.

The report added that Ford said no formal decision has yet been reached on whether to discontinue production of the C-Max. However, it said discussions will explore the consequences of such a step on the plant's workforce.

"As we continue to match production to consumer demand, the consultation process also will include necessary adjustments to the workforce at Saarlouis," the Ford statement added.

The Saarlouis manufacturing plant was opened in 1970 and employs 6,190 people; annual capacity is estimated at 100,000 units. It makes the Ford Focus and the C-Max compact minivan for the European market. However, analysts note that the compact minivan market in Europe has declined and consumers are now turning towards SUVs.

According to just-auto QUBE's PLDB, the third generation C-Max, codenamed C481, plus its long wheelbase Grand C-MAX derivative had at one time been due to enter production in Europe during 2017. Due to the collapse of their segment, the programme to replace them was cancelled.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more