In the Cologne Ford works, production of the last combustion model may end prematurely.

This is reported by the respected British car magazine "Autocar" and the tabloid "Sun".

Accordingly, the small car Ford Fiesta, which is still being built on one of two production lines in Cologne, would be removed from the program as early as 2023 without a successor.

Helmut Buender

Business correspondent in Düsseldorf.

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Tobias Piller

Editor in Business.

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Autocar reports that the Ford Fiesta has dropped out of the top ten best-selling models in Britain, unlike in the past.

Sales in Europe during the first eight months of 2022 fell by 45 percent compared to the previous year.

The reason for this is also competition from within the company: some of the former Fiesta customers are now served by the sporty crossover model Puma, which is manufactured in Romania.

Originally it was expected that the Fiesta would be manufactured until 2024.

But it is becoming increasingly unattractive for Ford to reserve one of the two production lines in Cologne for the shrinking sales figures for the combustion-powered small car.

The second line is currently being rebuilt because an electric crossover is to roll off the assembly line there in the course of 2023, which is supposed to look like a typical Ford but is based on a Volkswagen platform.

Now Ford apparently wants to ramp up electric production in Cologne faster and switch the second production line to electric drive more quickly.

The presentation of a second electric model could then possibly be brought forward.

The number of jobs should not be affected by the changes.

For the new models with electric drive, Ford also wants to use environmentally friendly steel from 2023 onwards.

In the long term, all car production must be switched to green steel in order to meet climate protection requirements.

As an interim goal, the proportion of climate-neutral steel is to increase to 10 percent by 2030, Ford announced.

The European plants are aiming for climate neutrality by 2035.

In order to secure the necessary quantities, Ford has now concluded corresponding preliminary agreements with three steel companies.

Letters of intent were signed with Tata Steel from the Netherlands, Thyssenkrupp and Salzgitter.

All three companies want to replace the first blast furnaces with hydrogen-powered direct reduction plants for largely CO2-free steel production by 2025 or 2026.