While the second-largest US automaker still has trouble with the slowing European recovery and still bleeds money at the regional unit, demand has prompted Ford to lift the pace of production at factories in Saarlouis and Cologne, Germany.
The European region is proving even more difficult than expected, with zonal developments that have led to a mixed state of the continent’s recovery. With a market that sees sluggish sales – leading to losses from carmakers discounting numerous models – Ford still has several best-selling vehicles. Beginning next week, the US automaker mulls the increased production of he Focus, C-Max and Grand C-Max at the Saarlouis assembly facility to a daily output of 1,770 units, up 240 vehicles per day. Both the Focus – recently restyled – and the C-Max minivan series are top-selling Ford models in Europe.
Next up, the Cologne plant is scheduled to lift Fiesta (the best selling Ford nameplate in the region) production in February by 300 units daily to 1,850 vehicles – there are also six new weekend shifts scheduled for the first two months of the year. Last year Ford managed to lift European sales by 7.3% – though the automaker’s market share only grew under a percentage point. The company also changed its previous financial guidance for the unit from having a profit by now to a $1.2 billion pretax loss expectations for last year and smaller (but present) losses in 2015. The US carmaker forecasts topost a profit in 2016, buoyed by numerous new model introductions, including the first official apparition of the Mustang nameplate.