Ford confirms end of C-Max minivan as it axes night shift at German plant

Ford confirmed it will end production of its C-Max minivan at its factory in Saarlouis, Germany, but said the plant will stay open with further investment in the Focus car that is also built there.

Production of the C-Max and Grand C-Max will stop by the end of June, the automaker said on Friday in a .

Ford will also end night-shift production at the factory.

The moves will reduce costs as Ford seeks to turn around its money-losing European operations.

Ford said it will continue to invest in production of the Focus compact car in Saarlouis. There is strong demand for higher margin wagon, Active and ST variants of the Focus, the company said.

Ford said on March 15 that it plans to cut more than to help return its operations in the region to profit in the near-term. The turnaround plan will involve job cuts, looking at plant closures and discontinuing money-losing vehicle lines, Ford has said.

The automaker employs about 53,000 people in Europe, with more than 24,000 of them in Germany. It has 18,000 employees in Cologne, the location of its European headquarters and a factory that builds the Fiesta subcompact hatchback. Another 6,000 are employed in Saarlouis and a further 200 staff are based at an engineering center in Aachen.

Ford is dropping the C-Max and Grand C-Max because of a sharp drop in demand as customers switch to SUVs and crossovers.

Sales of the C-Max and Grand C-Max fell 21 percent to 53,080 in Europe last year, according to JATO Dynamics. Focus sales dropped 8 percent to 194,097.


Leave a Reply