Ford is in talks with China’s BYD to sell German plant

Ford is in talks with Chinese electric-vehicle maker BYD over the sale of its Saarlouis plant in Germany, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Ford will end production of the Focus compact car at the plant in in 2025 as the company shrinks its passenger car lineup in Europe to focus on all-electric cars and light commercial vehicles.

Ford executives plan to travel to China next week to discuss the potential sale with BYD, the Journal reported. Talks are still in a preliminary stage and may ultimately fall through, the report said.

Ford said last June it is seeking alternatives for vehicle production at Saarlouis, including involving other manufacturers. The factory employs 4,600 workers.

The Journal report said Ford is also gauging interest from around 15 potential investors, but the terms of any deal are not known.

Separately, Ford said on Tuesday that it intends to decide by mid-February on how many jobs will be cut in Europe after announcing plans to cut up to 3,200 jobs at its Fiesta factory in the German city of Cologne.

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