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Ford Saarlouis body and assembly plant

The Ford Saarlouis body and assembly plant is a major car plant located on the western edge of Saarlouis in the German Saarland. It belongs to Ford of Germany, the German subsidiary of the American automaker Ford Motor Company.


The construction of the plant started in 1966 on a former airfield. On 16 September 1966, the foundation stone was laid. In 1968, the production of car body panels for Renault started.

The plant commenced car production on 16 January 1970, and was formally opened in the presence of Henry Ford II six months later in June 1970. It was designed to co-produce with Ford’s Halewood plant the company’s recently introduced Escort model, itself intended to compete head-on with Opel’s successful Kadett in the various markets of continental Europe.

At the time when the plant was opened the UK, where the Escort had been produced since the end of 1967, was not part of the European Economic Community and it was not clear whether or when it would join.


Saarlouis output has included the following models:

Model Production Time
Ford Escort 1970 - 1998 (6,517,352 produced at Saarlouis)
Ford Capri 1971 - 1975
Ford Fiesta 1976 - 1980
Ford Orion 1983 - 1993
Ford Focus since 10 August 1998
Ford Kuga since 2008

The plant produced its 5,000,000th vehicle in 1990 and the 10,000,000th on 1 July 2005.


Employee numbers reflecting both the changing fortunes of the small family cars produced there and the increasing automation of car production in Europe have evolved as follows:

Year Employees
1971 5,600
1978 8,100
1996 5,600
1999 6,500
2002 7,200
2005 6,800

In 2005 the plant employed 6,800 workers, organised into three teams. The plant is the largest employer in the Saarland. 79% of the employees were from Germany and 11% from France which is approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) away to the south. There were also significant numbers from Italy and Turkey. 7% of the workforce were female.

Sources and further reading

This entry incorporates information from the equivalent entry in the French Wikipedia.

External links

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Coordinates: 49°20′50″N 6°45′53″E / 49.34722°N 6.76472°E / 49.34722; 6.76472