Saarlouis – It is the day of the decision. An important decision also for the future of Saarland as an automotive region: will the Ford plant in Saarlouis win the contract for the construction of the electric car or will it lose Valencia in Spain?
At a business meeting this Wednesday, some 5,000 employees are to be told how Ford of Europe boss Stuart Rowley (55) has decided.
The end of the scar with a good result for the Saarland? Or a black day?
Saar Economy Minister Jürgen Barke (59, SPD) was recently optimistic: “In our opinion, the Saarlouis plant is clearly ahead.”
But he also said: “If it turns out that Ford decides to invest in Valencia anyway, it will be definitive proof that the whole process was just a farce to justify a decision made.”
According to the “Saarbrücker Zeitung”, the former state government of the CDU / SPD put together a package of 500 million euros just before the state elections to make Saarland attractive to Ford.
For Saarlouis Mayor Peter Demmer (62, SPD), the demise of the Saarlouis Ford plant would be “a real disaster, not only for the city of Saarlouis, but for the entire region”. And: “Countless families are directly or indirectly employed in the Ford plant. If they lose this, the consequences for all of us are incalculable – economically, humanly and emotionally ”.
Dillinger Mayor Franz-Josef Berg (65, CDU) also warns: “Jobs at Ford and associated companies are vital to our industrial country. Even after 2025 we need full auto production in Saarlouis.”
Fears for the future among employees!
Oliver Wagner (37): “Everyone has a family and a home and hopes we can continue working here.” Gian-Luca Mancarella (27) doesn’t mince words: “The situation just sucks! I just bought a house and became a father”.
Doreen Müller (39) has worked at Ford for 20 years: “The mood has never been as bad as it is now.” Katharina Pusse (32): “I would love to continue working here because the people are so great.” And Tobias Krieger (26) says: “Hope is known to die last …”
Dillinger kebab vendor Adil Payam also hopes things will continue in Saarlouis after 2025. Because until then the Focus will be built there. The 35-year-old: “It would be a big loss for us. We deliver directly to the factory several times a week. Employees also come regularly to eat with us.”
The Saarlouis works council has so far kept a low profile on whether it has already leaked as they decided the Ford headquarters in Dearborn / USA. IG Metall has invited to a press conference for Wednesday afternoon.
No information even from Ford’s main plant in Cologne. A spokesperson on Tuesday when asked by BILD: “We are currently in an internal decision-making process that has not yet been completed. As soon as a decision has been made, we will announce it and of course we will inform you.”
Regardless of the decision as to which Ford plant will build the electric car in the future, some 800 jobs are already unstable in Saarlouis: it was only in early June that employees were informed that production would be reduced by 15% later. the feasts of the plant.
The history of Ford in Saarlouis
The Ford plant in Saarlouis is a milestone in the history of the Saarland towards an automotive region.
► Construction of the plant began in 1966 on the site of the former Röderberg airport.
► The Federal Chancellor of the time, Ludwig Erhard, campaigned for the seat on the Ford board of directors in Cologne, so that the region, shaken by the coal and steel crisis, experienced an economic recovery. Laying of the first stone in September.
► Production begins in 1968: 700 employees initially produce body parts for other Ford factories.
► On 20 October 1969, the first Ford Escort body was created. On January 16, 1970 the first Ford Escort. There are already 2000 employees there. The factory was officially opened on 11 June 1970 by Henry Ford II, grandson of the company founder.
► From 1971 to 1975, the plant produced nearly 150,000 units of the Ford Capri (everyday sports car) in addition to the Escort. In 1976 the first Ford Fiesta (small car) rolled off the production line, in 1980 the two millionth. Sometimes 6500 employees were employed here.
► 1998 Ford Focus replaces Escort. In 1999 the Focus was voted “Car of the Year” in Europe, the best-selling car in the world. 2008-2012 330,000 Ford Kuga (SUV) come from Saarlouis.
► To date, more than 15 million Ford models have left the factory.