Ford Considering Sale of German Plant to China’s BYD, Says Report

Photo: Jim Farley

Ford may be talking with Chinese automaker BYD about selling its Saarlouis, Germany plant, according to sources familiar with the matter in a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Officials at Ford will head to China next week to talk about the potential sale of the German plant, which is currently planning to stop producing vehicles by 2025. Right now, the plant produces the Ford Focus compact model.

The move is the latest in a bid to cut costs, amidst increasing prices for electric vehicle (EV) battery materials, as well as a projected slowdown in the U.S. and European economies.

Ford also said it’s considering how many jobs to cut in Europe, after recently announcing plans to get rid of as many as 3,200 jobs at a Cologne, Germany factory. The automaker plans to decide by mid-February.

While the talks over the Saarlouis plant are still preliminary, Ford also said that it is gauging interest from as many as 15 potential investors, ranging from manufacturers to financial investors.

China’s BYD produces plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles and was the world’s largest producer of the latter in 2022. The company already makes electric buses at a plant in Hungary. Back in October, BYD told Reuters it plans to make electric cars in Europe.

The news comes just a week after Ford announced hopes to reduce reliance on Volkswagen for its next-generation EVs, by shifting away from the German company’s Modular Electric Drive (MEB) platform to using its own.