Media: Ford talks to BYD about Saarlouis plant

Media: Ford talks to BYD about Saarlouis plant

According to information from Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR), Ford is in talks with Chinese automaker BYD about selling the Saarlouis plant. A Ford delegation will travel to China for talks next week, the broadcaster reported on its website. Whether the Saarland state government will also participate is an open question. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that BYD was interested in the Saarlouis plant.

The company, founded in 1995 as a battery manufacturer, claims to be the largest producer of vehicles with alternative drives. In 2022, the Chinese sold more than 1.86 million electric cars and plug-in hybrids, a 155 percent increase and a new record.

BYD currently wants to enter the German market – aiming to sell 120,000 vehicles in four years. In addition, the group announced at the end of 2022 that it was planning at least one car factory in continental Europe.

Developers and contract developers are showing interest

According to SR, Ford is currently still in talks with 15 parties interested in the Saarlouis plant that is for sale. German boss Martin Sander had already informed staff in December that eight carmakers had expressed interest in the area. According to the trade magazine “Automobilwoche”, the two contract manufacturers Magna and Nedcar are also among the potential investors.

Ford announced in the middle of last year that the new electric cars of the American group should be built in Valencia, Spain, and not in the Saarland (we reported). 4,600 employees in Saarlouis are affected by this decision. The last ICE Ford Focus is expected to roll off the assembly line there in 2025.