Ford accused of ‘treachery’ in France over factory closure

Paris: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire accused Ford of “treachery” and “cowardice” in a furious reaction to the US automaker’s decision to shutter a factory near Bordeaux and snub a potential buyer.
Around 850 jobs are on the line at the Blanquefort plant in the southwest of the country, which has turned out gear boxes for Ford since 1972.
The French government has been involved in negotiations to find a buyer and supported a bid from Franco-Belgian
equipment manufacturer Punch Powerglide, based in the eastern city of Strasbourg.
But Ford said on Thursday that it planned to reject a takeover offer and would instead offer redundancies to the staff ahead of an end to production there in August 2019. “I want to denounce the cowardice of Ford, which I have tried to talk to for three days and which did not have the courage to take a call from the economy and finance minister,” Le Maire told senators in Paris. — Reuters