Rhenus Automotive to assemble John Deere vehicles in Flanders
This autumn, Rhenus Automotive will start assembling agricultural vehicles from the American company John Deere in the Flemish town of Genk. This was reported by the Mediahuis newspapers on Wednesday.
Production will start on 1 November in the former halls of SML, a supplier to the former Ford plant in Genk, which was taken over by the automotive division of the German group Rhenus in 2016. Tractors, ride-on mowers and off-road vehicles will be assembled.
In the coming months, several million euros will be invested in infrastructure and assembly lines. Various vehicles will be assembled from November. For some tractors and ride-on mowers, this involves limited final assembly. "In other cases, we are talking about quasi complete assembly," says Bob Schreurs, managing director of Rhenus Automotive Belgium.
Most of the parts will be delivered via the nearby canal and Schreurs expects several thousand containers a year from suppliers worldwide. The finished products will then be shipped to Europe and North Africa. No exact figures are given, but according to Het Belang van Limburg, several thousand vehicles will be assembled each year.
The Ford Genk plant was a major employer in Limburg, until it closed in December 2014 and production was transferred to the company's Valencia plant in Spain. The John Deere contract is Rhenus Automotive's largest and will create dozens of jobs in Genk.
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