Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Ford Europe to slash thousands of jobs in turnaround plan

JLR and Ford prepare for mass job cuts Ford to cut THOUSANDS of jobs across Europe in major shake-up
Rhonda Young | 13 January, 2019, 21:40

Auto maker Ford on Thursday said it will cut thousands of jobs across Europe, discontinue loss-making vehicle lines, and end operations in unprofitable markets as part of a broader cost-cutting strategy initiated by Ford CEO Jim Hackett.

"We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe", said group vice president Europe, Middle East and Africa, Steven Armstrong in a statement.

Executives of the company have warned that its Dagenham and Bridgend sites risk facing significantly more dramatic job cuts than now anticipated, if the United Kingdom exits with European Union without a trade deal.

Mr Armstrong said the company is in negotiations with worker representatives about potential job cuts at its Saarlouis plant in Germany.

Passenger Vehicles: Ford will establish a more targeted portfolio of European-built passenger vehicles focused on the quality, technology-rich and fun-to-drive DNA of the Ford brand, with the goal of building emotional connections with customers through sporty and progressive designs.

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Volkswagen has said it will see an unspecified number of job reductions as it changes three plants in Germany to production of electric vehicles, but assures there will be no involuntary departures before 2028. The company wants to protect and enhance its leadership in commercials - potentially with help from Volkswagen - but insists that suggestions it will leave the passenger vehicle market are wide of the mark.

"If Brexit went in the wrong direction we would have to have another look, to mitigate that", Armstrong said.

Jaguar Land Rover and Ford are preparing to implement cost cutting plans which will result in thousands of job losses for the UK's automotive sector.

The company on Thursday said it planned a major revamp in Europe, including job cuts to boost profitability, but did not specify numbers.

Tim Urquhart, a principal automotive analyst at IHS Markit, says Ford has experienced "a very hard market environment" in Europe, facing pressure from premium carmakers and more affordable brands.

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Ford confirmed it will get out of the family vans or MPV segment.

"The group is overly dependent on diesel vehicles, and given the crackdown on emissions, petrol cars have become more popular", noted David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets UK. Speculation about the looming partnership between Ford and VW includes the American automaker borrowing or licensing VW's electric vehicle architecture.

"Partnering is going to be an important part of Ford's future", Farley said.

Ford's European business, which relies on models like the recently revamped Fiesta and Focus hatchbacks, reported a $245 million loss during the third quarter, widening from $192 million a year earlier.

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