Ford of Europe is taking a number of steps to better align production with industry demand in response to the ongoing economic downturn.

As part of the measures, the auto maker’s Valencia, Spain, assembly plant will move from three shifts to two May 1. Ford says discussions are ongoing with workers that may be displaced by the move.

The facility currently builds the Focus C-car and Fiesta B-car, but Focus production is slated to be replaced by output of the next-generation C-Max cross/utility vehicle. Additionally, Ford’s nearby Valencia engine plant will begin production later this year of a 2.0L version of the auto maker’s direct-injected turbocharged EcoBoost engine for the European market.

Ford’s Cologne, Germany, and Craiova, Romania, engine plants also will launch EcoBoost output in the future.

Meanwhile, Ford confirms its Saarlouis, Germany, assembly plant will serve as the lead facility for the next-generation Focus. Output of the current Ford Kuga and C-Max CUVs will not be replaced at Saarlouis when production ends. The auto maker does not disclose a timeframe for the moves.

Ford says it is reviewing the possibility of adding a second source for production of the next-generation Focus.

John Fleming, Ford of Europe chairman and CEO, says the auto maker will continue to evaluate its European production strategy to adjust for the downturn in the market.

“Cutting capacity, reducing costs and safeguarding our future product plans are essential actions for Ford of Europe to sustain a viable business for the future,” he says. “We have already taken a number of actions, but as the market has continued to weaken substantially, we are now taking additional necessary actions.

“Ford of Europe must return to sustainable profitability as soon as possible. We will do whatever it takes to ensure the continuing viability of our business, and further actions can be expected.”