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Ford admits global profit drive will cost 12,000 European jobs

ford admits global profit drive will cost 12000 european jobs

Business

Ford admits global profit drive will cost 12,000 European jobs

Car giant Ford has admitted its previously announced profitability strategy will now be at the expense of around 12,000 jobs across its European operations by the end of 2020.

The company has made a series of announcements this year concerning its global operations – including those in the UK.

In January, Ford said it would cut thousands of jobs in Europe in a bid to eliminate $14bn (£11bn) in costs globally, excluding the US.

The company announced in May that it would be cutting 7,000 white collar jobs worldwide – confirming on Thursday that 2,000 of those will be salaried jobs from its European operations in the UK, France and Russia.

The carmaker, which employs 51,000 people in Europe, previously said it would be cutting more than 5,000 jobs in Germany and 1,700 jobs from its Bridgend plant in Wales, one of six to be closed or sold off in Europe by September 2020.

Ford confirmed to Sky News that the job cuts were not in addition to those already earmarked for the UK.

The company will reorganise its business into three divisions – commercial vehicles, passenger cars and imports.

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It said in a statement that the positions would be eliminated mostly by voluntary redundancy to the end of 2020.

:: UK carmakers face ‘multiple seismic challenges’ as production sinks

Engineers working on a Jaguar V8 engine at Ford's Bridgend plant
Image: Ford’s Bridgend plant will be closed by 2020

On Thursday, Ford said it was launching a new business model and fresh vehicle line-up, as part of what it called “the most comprehensive redesign in the history” of its loss-making operations in Europe.

In addition, it intends to cut the number of vehicle ranges and introduce more electric and hybrid options.

Like many of its rivals, Ford has been caught out by a fall in the sale of diesel cars after Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal, and is bracing itself for the massive investment required to compete in the nascent electric car market.

Stuart Rowley, Ford of Europe president, said: “Ford will be a more targeted business in Europe, consistent with the company’s global redesign, generating higher returns through our focus on customer needs and a lean structure.

“Implementing our new strategy quickly enables us to invest and grow our leading commercial vehicle business and provide customers with more electrified vehicles, SUVs, exciting performance derivatives and iconic imported models.”

Mr Rowley added: “Our future is rooted in electrification.

“We are electrifying across our portfolio, providing all of our customers with more accessible vehicle options that are fun to drive, have improved fuel economy and are better for our environment.”

:: Ford to cut thousands of jobs in Europe under plan to slash costs

Details of Ford’s turnaround plans come on the day the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed figures showing a 12th consecutive month of declining car production in the UK.

The whole car sector is currently struggling to cope with weak or falling demand in major markets, and the huge investments required for the shift towards electric vehicles.

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