Ford to Sell German Factory To China’s BYD: Report

It was only yesterday that we last discussed Ford’s future plans for the European continent. We have more details around this new strategy, but again, we don’t have good news for the company’s employees. According to a new report, Ford could sell one of its main factories in Europe to China’s Build Your Dreams (BYD).

That Wall Street Journal company executives report that they will soon meet their counterparts from the Chinese manufacturer and discuss the potential sale of the Saarlouis plant in Germany. Everything is still in its very early stages and may eventually fall through, but there are positive signs from both sides that a deal could actually happen.

The Saarlouis factory currently produces the Focus but the hatchback will be discontinued in the middle of this decade. Last summer, Ford chose its Valencia plant to build the company’s next-generation electric vehicles. The Cologne manufacturer’s production site will also play an important role in the company’s target to sell only electric vehicles in Europe by the end of the decade.

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In June last year, Ford said there would be “significant” layoffs at Saarlouis where the company currently employs 4,600 people. According to a new report, Blue Oval is exploring alternatives to vehicle production in an effort to retain as many employees as possible. It is said that Ford is in talks with about 15 potential investors, although the details surrounding a potential deal are a mystery for now.

BYD is reportedly the party most interested in buying the Saarlouis factory. The manufacturer was last year’s largest PHEV and BEV combined seller and is currently considering expanding its European operations with local production.

As for Ford, it wants to rebuild its business on the continent and focus on electric vehicles and special models from the US market. As part of the process, Ford will cut the majority of its workforce in Germany, particularly at the Cologne plant where the Fiesta is currently built.

Note: BYD Plus images in gallery.

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