Ford applies for German COVID-19 loan guarantees - HandelsblattFord applies for German COVID-19 loan guarantees - Handelsblatt
FILE PHOTO: Ford logo is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt

BERLIN (Reuters) – Ford Motor <F.N>, which operates two auto plants in Germany, has applied for 500 million euros ($582 million) of German loan guarantees aimed at cushioning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, business daily Handelsblatt reported on Monday.

While Germany has given coronavirus-related aid to companies such as auto parts supplier Leoni <LEOGn.DE>, Ford would be the first major carmaker in the country to receive such help from the government.

The auto sector, one of the key pillars of Germany’s industry, was struggling even before the pandemic due to the shift towards electric vehicles and lower worldwide demand.

Ford wants the federal government to grant most of the loan guarantees, while a smaller share is expected to come from German states, Handelsblatt said, without citing its sources.

The company said it was part of its normal business to be in contact with financial institutions, without providing further details.

The economy ministry declined to comment on the report.

Ford’s German subsidiary was founded in 1925 and operates factories in the western city of Cologne and in Saarlouis close to the French border.

(Reporting by Thomas Seythal and Tom Kaeckenhoff; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Mark Potter)