Ford is negotiating the sale of Saarlouis to Chinese automaker BYD

Ford is negotiating the sale of Saarlouis to Chinese automaker BYD

Ford is in talks to sell the Saarlouis plant to Chinese automaker BYD. The deal will be a milestone for both companies.

Members of IG Metall on January 14 at the “Saarlouis must live” campaign. (Photo: dpa)

Photo: Oliver Dietze

Notification of new items:

Ford is in talks to sell the Saarlouis plant to Chinese automaker BYD. Ford management representatives in Germany are traveling to China next week, it was reported The Wall Street Journal mentioning local people. So the negotiations are at an early stage and the deal may still fail. Ford has already sought talks with about 15 prospects.

In addition to BYD, Ford is also in talks with other interested parties, including Canadian-Austrian car supplier Magna International and financial investors who could partner with the manufacturer, according to the report. VDL Nedcar from the Netherlands is also interested in the Ford plant, reports Automobilwoche, citing business circles.

“We are evaluating various options for the future and continued use of the Saarlouis site. As part of this process, we are in ongoing discussions with a number of potential buyers and have no further comment at this time,” said a Ford spokesperson.

The sale of the Saarlouis plant would be a further step in Ford’s efforts to restructure its European operations and switch to fully electric vehicles. It will also be an important step for China’s electric car industry, which has begun to expand into European markets.

BYD is the largest electric vehicle manufacturer in China, the world’s largest electric vehicle market. In addition, the company already sells some electric vehicles in Europe, including buses. The purchase of the factory would give BYD a base for further expansion in Europe, where the market for electric and hybrid vehicles is experiencing significant growth.

The Saarlouis plant currently makes the Ford Focus, but Ford announced in June that production there would end in 2025. The company also said last year that future electric cars for Europe would be built at its plant in Valencia, Spain, and at its main plant in Cologne, Germany.

Union officials said this week that Ford has guaranteed that about 500 to 700 of the current 4,600 workers in Saarlouis will continue to make components after car production ends in 2025. Union representatives are currently negotiating the retention of additional workers. , but the future of many workers is uncertain.

If BYD and Ford reach an agreement, it would be a big step for the Chinese company, which sold 1.86 million electric and plug-in vehicles last year, triple the previous year. The potential investment follows the expansion of Tesla, which started production at its new factory in Grünheide near Berlin last year.