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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Ford secures the future of Belgium factory

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Ford secures the future of Belgium factory

Michael Knauer

Automobilwoche -- December 8, 2010 06:01 CET

Ford Motor Co. has signed a four-year agreement with Belgian unions to secure the future of its Genk assembly plant.

The agreement will allow the continued production of cars in the C, D (mid-sized and large) segment at the facility. These include the Mondeo mid-sized sedan and station wagon, S-Max crossover and the Galaxy large minivan. All three cars have undergone face-lifts in 2010.

Production capacity will be maintained at 225,000 units a year, with the potential to grow beyond that figure, depending on market demand.

The decision also guarantees that the 4,700 workers at the plant will have jobs for the next four years. Ford wanted to quash worries in Belgium that they could be winding down production at the plant.

General Motors Co.'s Opel dvision is closing its plant in Antwerp, Belgium, as part of plans to cut capacity across Europe.

"At a time of considerable concern in the Belgian automotive industry, Ford's commitment is a sign of the confidence we have in our employees, suppliers and the Flanders region. This is great news for Ford, Flanders and Belgium," Ford of Europe CEO Stephen Odell said in a statement.

The agreement also secures the future of Ford's proving ground in Lommel. Ford said in a statement that this facility will continue as its primary vehicle proving ground in Europe, adding that there will be further investment in Lommel's infrastructure.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101208/COPY/312089992/1193#ixzz17Wj60e6T

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