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Ford of Europe scales down in wake of global economic crisis

Ford of Europe today confirmed that, due to the unprecedented decline in the European new car market and the continuing negative economic outlook, it is realigning its production capacity.

Ford of Europe will do whatever it takes to ensure the company continues to make cars, and a profit, said John Fleming, Ford of Europe Chairman and CEO.

Announcements the company made today primarily affect Ford's manufacturing operations in Germany, Spain, and its new manufacturing facility in Craiova, Romania.

The Valencia Plant in Spain will move to a two-shift pattern from May 1. Further talks will take place on how to manage the surplus labor in the short term. Longer term, two-shift versus three-shift working will depend on market demand.

Current Fiesta production will continue at Valencia, and Ford Focus production will be replaced by production of the next-generation Ford C-MAX. Later this year, Valencia will produce a new 2-liter version of Ford's EcoBoost gas engine.

The Saarlouis Plant in Germany will continue with its current down-time plan. The current labor level will be reviewed on a regular basis to determine if it is sustainable. And Saarlouis will be the lead plant for the next-generation Ford Focus models. The current Ford Kuga and Ford C-MAX models will not be replaced there when production ends at the plant.

The Cologne Engine Plant will share with Ford's Craiova Engine Plant the production of a new EcoBoost advanced gas engine.