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BRUSSELS -- A union leader says Ford has decided to close its factory in Genk, Belgium, by the end of 2014 in a move that will result in 4,500 direct job losses and 5,000 more among subcontractors.
Christian Democrat union representative Johan Lamers said Wednesday that Ford management read a letter announcing the move at a specially called council earlier in the morning.
Ford Motor Co. has been under pressure in Europe due to the region's dwindling demand.
The plant in Genk makes the midsize Mondeo and the S-MAX minivan.
The company expects to lose more than $1 billion this year in Europe, where it gets a quarter of its sales.
Analysts say the company has more factory capacity than it needs.
The Associated Press