Ford scales back German Fiesta car production

Elisabeth Behrmann
Bloomberg News

Ford Motor Co. is cutting production at one of its German auto plants as sales gains for the Fiesta subcompact car slow in the second half of the year.

Work at the factory in Cologne will pause for 11 days during the remainder of the year, Dearborn-based Ford said in an e-mailed statement. This will reduce daily output to 1,550 autos from 1,850 vehicles, spokesman Adrian Schmitz said by phone.

European car-registration growth amounted to 1.8 percent last month, the slowest this year, paring sales gains in the eight months through August to 5.8 percent, according to industry figures. A recovery in the auto market from a two- decade low risks losing momentum as European economies struggle to regain steam, with Italy battling a recession and gross domestic product stagnant in France.

"We will continue to monitor the market and adapt the production volumes in line with market demand," Ford said Friday.

Ford raised Fiesta production in Cologne early this year to 1,850 vehicles a day from 1,650, Schmitz said. Fiesta sales in the company's 20 main European markets rose 8.1 percent from a year earlier in August, reducing the eight-month increase to 9 percent.