Ford to cut jobs in Europe, may announce Volkswagen deal in Detroit

Ford to cut jobs in Europe, may announce Volkswagen deal in Detroit

Full extent of the job losses have yet to be announced, however.

Ford of Europe will slash its workforce to improve its short-term profitability after losing US$199 million ($277 million) during the first three quarters of 2018.

It’s not clear how many people will lose their jobs, but a spokesperson told The New York Times it would be in the “thousands”.

The automaker wants to reduce “surplus labour across all functions”, and is hoping to achieve much of this through “voluntary employee separations”. Including its joint venture operations, Ford of Europe employs roughly 68,000 throughout the Continent.

Ford has confirmed it will axe the German-made C-Max (below) and Grand C-Max people movers, and close its automatic transmission plant in Bordeaux, France.

It will also consolidate its UK and credit headquarters at its technical centre in Dunton, and review its Russian joint venture, Ford Sollers.

Beyond this, the company says it will continue to reduce the complexity of its offerings, and prioritise profitable vehicles and models. The hope is to return Ford of Europe to a 6.0 per cent profit margin.

The European arm will now be organised into three business units: commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, and niche imports.

Commercial vehicles are the one bright spot for Ford of Europe, accounting for around a quarter of the company’s sales. Thanks to a broad range of vehicles, Ford enjoys a healthy market lead.

Sources have told Reuters a global commercial vehicle alliance with Volkswagen could be announced as early as the Detroit motor show, which kicks off next week.

Discussions on autonomous vehicle development and sharing Volkswagen’s MEB electric vehicle platform are said to be on-going.

Above: 2019 Ford Focus wagon

The Blue Oval says its made-in-Europe passenger car range will have a “more targeted portfolio” concentrating on technology, its well-established “fun-to-drive DNA” and, of course, more crossovers.

From now on, the company plans to offer at least one electrified drivetrain, be it mild hybrid, full hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure EV, for each model line.

Source link