Ford has announced plans to cut production of the Ford Fiesta at its Cologne plant in Germany during the 4th quarter of 2014.
The automaker will halt Fiesta production for an 11-day period in October and/or November due to slowing sales. The move will affect around 4,000 workers out of the 17,000 employed by the plant. Affected workers may get relief from a German government program called “Kurzarbeit”, which provides short-term pay to workers who are affected by a plant slow down.
Given that the Fiesta is the segment sales leader and Ford’s best-selling model in the region, it serves as a harbinger of European economic activity of sorts. As such, Ford’s move raises concerns among analysts about the recuperation of the economy in Europe, which has seen automotive sales rise and fall over the last several months. Continuous slumping demand for new vehicles might signal that the region’s economic recovery is not on track, although it’s too early to tell at this point.