Ford (NYSE: F ) plans to close one of its European factories, the Genk plant in Belgium, by the end of 2014, the company announced today. The closure, which would cut 4,300 positions, is part of the company's efforts to restructure its operations on that continent.
European vehicle sales have been dropping precipitously. According to company figures, demand for automobiles has fallen by 20% in Western Europe since 2007 and new car sales in the region have reached a two-decade low.
The shuttering of the Genk factory is pending the outcome of consultations with employee representatives. Production might be moved to Spain.
Additionally, The Wall Street Journal reports that Ford is holding discussions with labor unions regarding a potential closing of its van factory in Southampton, U.K., which employs around 500 people.