Ford requested an emergency meeting this week with labor unions at its Genk factory in Belgium.
The automaker has invited this Wednesday, October 24th, representatives from three unions at the Genk facility to discuss the ‘economic crisis.’ Ford has not given any details about this meeting, but it well known that the automaker plans to close this plant by the end of 2013 to reduce costs in Europe.
The plant has 4,000 employees and last year Ford announced it is using it at 68% of its manufacturing capacity. From all Ford’s European plants, Genk is the most likely to be closed, as it would save the automaker $500 million annually.
The Genk plant manufactures models which reached the end of their lifecycles, such as the S-Max and the Galaxy minivans. As demand continues to decrease Ford finds itself in the impossibility to adjust the factory capacity with demand. Ford’s sales in Europe have already dropped 12% this year, and the company expects the biggest fall in the past 19 years and a loss of more than $1 billion on the continent.
“The only thing they are willing to say is that they’re not allowed to say anything until Wednesday morning,” said Rene Champagne, a representative for Belgium’s ABVV Metaal union.