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Ford signs four-year agreement with Belgian unions

Company said that the agreement provides a solid basis for a viable future for Ford car production

Ford Motor has signed a four-year agreement with its Belgian unions to secure the future for the Genk Assembly Plant and Lommel Proving Ground facilities.

Ford Motor said that the agreement provides a solid basis for a viable future for Ford car production, vehicle development and validation in Belgium.

Genk will remain Ford's lead plant for the manufacture of all of its CD market segment vehicles in Europe, that includes the continuing production of the Ford Mondeo, the sporty Ford S-MAX multi-activity vehicle, and the seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle, the Ford Galaxy.

All of Ford's CD market segment models built at Genk have been freshened substantially in 2010.

The agreement also confirms that future Ford CD market segment vehicles will be built at Genk; new models that will require additional investment, and which will continue to be built in Genk in the years ahead.

The company expects to maintain an installed capacity of 225,000 units per year in Genk, with the potential to grow beyond that figure, depending on market demand. In addition, there will be job security at Genk throughout the duration of the agreement.

Ford is also committing that its Lommel Proving Ground will continue as its primary vehicle proving ground in Europe, and that there will be further investment for Lommel's infrastructure to help maintain its position among the leading testing facilities in the European automotive industry.

Ford Europe chairman and CEO Stephen Odell said at a time of considerable concern in the Belgian automotive industry, the company's commitment is a sign of the confidence we have in their employees, suppliers and the Flanders region.