Rumors are circulating that Chinese automaker BYD is in discussions with Ford to acquire one of the American automaker’s German plants for European production. The plant in question is Ford’s Saarlouis facility, which is set to end vehicle production in 2025.
The Ford Focus compact model is currently produced at the facility. According to the Wall Street Journal, the two companies are still in early stages of discussions. However, Ford is also in talks with approximately 15 other potential investors, including financial investors who may collaborate with a manufacturer to take over the plant.
In June, Ford announced plans to close the Saarlouis factory and instead build electric vehicles for the European market in Valencia, Spain and Cologne, Germany. Union officials representing Saarlouis workers confirmed that up to 700 of the 4,600 workers will continue to work on components at the facility until 2025.
BYD, which has already begun expanding sales into Europe, would likely benefit from a European-based plant for logistical reasons. However, details of the deal and the price of the facility have not been confirmed by sources close to the story. Neither Ford nor BYD have commented on the rumors or confirmed if they are in any talks about the German plant.