Ford Focus ST production to be cut

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Ford Focus ST 2022 facelift 6

American car giant to make decision on future of Saarlouis factory in Germany.

Production volumes of the Ford Focus could be slashed, as the American car giant is reportedly planning to significantly reduce output at its plant in Germany.

The Ford Focus ST is the only Focus model offered in Australia, and production was already on hold due to problems sourcing its 13.2-inch digital screen.

Ford Focus ST 2022 facelift 4

The factory in Saarlouis, which currently produces the standard Focus and the hot Ford Focus ST, will see production reduced after 29 August, reported Automotive News Europe (ANE).

The long-term future of the plant, which opened in 1970, is also in doubt, said ANE, with a decision on the direction of the factory expected to be announced by the end of June.

Just last year, Ford closed all of its factories in India after 27 years. The year before, it shut its engine plant in Bridgend, Wales, with 1700 jobs going.

Ford Saarlouis works council chairman Markus Thal told the publication this mooted production cut increases fears of major employee lay-offs in Germany. Some 6190 workers are currently involved in Focus production at Saarlouis.

Ford Focus ST 2022 facelift 7

These concerns have been compounded after Ford chose to invest £1.59 billion (AUD$2.7bn) into its Cologne factory, where it currently builds the Fiesta, instead of its Saarlouis one, as part of a wide-reaching electrification offensive in Europe.

Ford says no official announcement has yet been made regarding the factory’s future.

The closures would be another blow for the Focus, which has lost its long-held position in the list of Europe’s best-selling cars as Ford diverts supply of scarce components to more popular models, such as the Ford Puma crossover, in light of the ongoing supply chain crisis.

Will Rimell

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