The Ford factory in Almussafes, in which 6,000 people work directly and which indirectly generates employment for another 30,000 that operate in supplier companies, has a guaranteed future, at least in the short and medium term.
The management of the multinational, meeting in Detroit, has decided to assign the manufacture of its electric models to Almussafes to the detriment of the German factory in Saarlouis, whose viability has now been plunged into uncertainty. This was confirmed this Wednesday by the Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, at the exit of the control session in Congress.
In this way, in the coming years a transformation of the Valencian factory will be carried out to adapt it to the production of the new generation of electric vehicles.
The Almussafes plant had five vehicle models awarded, which went to four (Kuga, Transit, Smax and Galaxy) after stopping manufacturing the Mondeo, and by 2025 it will stop producing all the others, except for the Ford Kuga. In this way, within three years the plant ensures the production of new electric vehicles.
On January 27, UGT, the majority union, reached a labor agreement in Cologne with the directors of the multinational linked to the Valencian plant being chosen to manufacture the new electric cars. By virtue of this agreement, non-consolidable linear increases would be established in the salary tables that add up to 7,000 euros between 2022 and 2025, and return to the CPI in 2026.
Specifically, in the salary tables for each of the four years, the increase would be as follows: 1,000 euros in 2022, which would be paid upon signing the agreement; €1,500 in 2023; €2,000 in 2024; and 2,500 in 2025. It is a five-year agreement that is conditional on Ford assigning the electric platform for future vehicles to the Almussafes factory in June.
The company warned a few weeks later that it ruled out closing any of the plants, but warned of job cuts. “We are witnessing the greatest transformation that our industry has seen in more than 100 years (…). To fulfill and optimize our plan we must continue to optimize our operations in Europe. Whichever plant is ultimately selected, it is important to remember that this is not yet a product investment decision. After plant selection, we will have a lot of work to do to secure the product in Europe,” he said in a statement to employees.
He then added that “this is not a decision to close a plant either.” In fact, he stated that they are “looking for alternatives, future opportunities for the plant that is not selected” and warned that “this will have to be a multi-stakeholder effort, including local and national governments.”
Finally, he advanced that “it is foreseeable that both Saarlouis and Valencia will have to undergo a resizing of their current structure”. The management of Ford Almussafes agreed on June 2 to extend the Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) that was approved last March until the end of July.