Ford Motor Co.
) has promised to retain 1,000 jobs at the Blanquefort plant near
Bordeaux in southwest France after reaching an agreement with
local authorities for joint investment at the plant.
Under the agreement, Ford will invest €125 million ($162
million), about ten times, of what local authorities will invest
at the plant to produce a next-generation gearbox for compact
cars in Europe. With this, the jobs will be saved at the plant
for five years.
The Blanquefort plant is a very old plant of Ford, dating back to
1970s, employing as many as 3,000 workers. At that time, the
plant used to produce components for old Ford-model cars in the
However, situations deteriorated as the old models were
scrapped. Consequently, Ford had to sell the plant in 2009 to a
German investment company HZ Holding but repurchased it in 2011
after HZ Holding's industrial partner pulled out.
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Currently, the plant employs about 1,200 workers, but only 300 of
them are actively employed. The rest of the workers just receive
a paycheck without doing any work.
Recently, Ford announced plans to shut down its entire Australian
operations in Oct 2016 due to ebbing sales and continued
appreciation of the domestic currency. The automaker will close
two plants in Victoria State - an engine plant in Geelong and a
vehicle assembly plant in Broadmeadows. The closures would
terminate 1,200 jobs at the plants.
According to Ford Australia President Bob Graziano, Ford lost
A$600 million ($581 million) in the last five years in the
country and A$141 million ($136.5 million) in 2012 because
customers preferred smaller and cheaper imported vehicles
manufactured by Japan's Mazda Motor or South Korea's Hyundai
Ford, a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, posted an increase of 4.1% in
earnings to $1.6 billion and 5.1% in earnings per share to 41
cents in the first quarter of 2013, beating the Zacks Consensus
Estimate by 3 cents. Revenues improved 10.5% to $35.8 billion,
exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $32.8 billion.
The improvement in revenues and earnings was mainly attributable
to Ford's strong performance in North America and Asia Pacific
Africa. The company's results were disappointing in South America
due to unfavorable exchange rate as well as in Europe due to the
Few stocks that are performing well in the industry include
STRATTEC Security Corp
Tower International Inc.
). They carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).