Ford to receive 58 million from Flemish government
The government of Flanders has earmarked 58 million euros for the Future Program Spending Plan 2011-2014, it was announced by Flemish Minister-President Kris Peeters CD&V yesterday. These financial resources will be invested in carmaker Ford’s outfit in Genk and the Ford test centre in Lommel. If one adds Ford’s commitment to invest 960 million euros during the same period, the total amount increases to almost 1.2 billion euros. In Lommel the budget allocated to planned investment and training will amount to 22 million Euro. The test centre covers functional performance testing, durability and corrosion testing and the development and testing of vehicle dynamics, software and technology. This strategy will position Ford as more than simply a production plant and make it less dependent on the allocation of new models. With a firm technology base and R&D, Lommel will ensure a sustainable future via networking with FlandersDrive and other innovative stakeholders in the industry. The allocation of the Future Program Spending Plan, which is set to secure the current employment rate at Ford. The allocation of support depends entirely on employment and secures the succession of models like the Mondeo, Galaxy and S-Max in Ford Genk. Should one of these models be scrapped, it will be up to Ford to compensate the government of Flanders with a positive adjustment of production volumes to achieve the ultimate objective to maintain annual production levels at 225,000 or in the region of 1,000 per day. The government of Flanders also promised sustainibility support if Ford continues to invest in its green production strategy. Ford plans to eventually convert its plant into a CO2 neutral site and render it suitable for the development and production of electric and hybrid cars. During the next months and years Ford Genk and the government of Flanders will gradually schedule planned investments. This extensive investment programme will not only contribute significantly to the strengthening of the car industry in Flanders in general, but in Genk and Lommel in particular.