No guarantees were given by Ford Motor Co. to the union boss at its plant in Genk, Belgium, about its survival. The Genk plant’s union officials had a meeting with Ford of Europe CEO Stephan Odell at the European headquarters located in Cologne, Germany. Ford is finding ways of dealing with the excess production capacity in Europe where Ford anticipates a loss of over $1 billion in 2012 as new-car sales drop due to the economic difficulties in the region.
The Wall Street Journal reported last Thursday that it’s likely that the Genk factory, which rolls out the Mondeo midsized car and S-Max and Galaxy minivans, would be shut down. Rohnny Champagne, a spokesman for Genk's ABVV union, told Automotive News Europe that it has yet to get assurances about what’s to become of the Genk factory.
Odell explained that he can’t make any reassurances. He pointed that Ford gets similar requests from the unions in its other facilities in Europe and he responded to them in the same way. Champagne said that he believes that Genk production of the new Mondeo will begin next October after a six-month delay.