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Old 11-13-2003, 07:59   #1 (permalink)
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E.U.:Ford to invest $700 million in Belgium

Automotive News
Reuters / November 13, 2003

BRUSSELS -- Ford Motor Co. said Thursday that it would invest 550 to 600 million euros ($701.6 million) at its Belgian Genk plant -- facing 3,000 job cuts -- to make the next generation of three Ford brands.

"Genk now disposes of three important new products on which it can build a positive future," John Fleming, vice president of manufacturing of Ford Europe, said in a statement.

Along with the new model of the Mondeo brand, which was announced earlier, the plant will produce the next generation of the Galaxy and another unidentified model.

The spokesman of Ford Belgium, Wilfried Baeken, said production of the new version of the Mondeo mid-sized car will start in 2006. He could not provide details on the timing of the start of production of the two other models.

Production of the Galaxy model will move from Portugal, where it is assembled in a joint venture with Volkswagen AG.

Last month, Ford Genk said it would cut the jobs at the plant in eastern Belgium amid slumping sales and cutthroat price competition.

The unit will have a future annual production of some 300,000 cars.
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