Ford to slash jobs in Europe, may close plants

JLR and Ford prepare for mass job cuts

Ford to Cut Thousands of Jobs in Europe, Eyes Plant Closures

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

In a statement, the company said Thursday that "structural cost improvements will be supported by a reduction of surplus labor", both hourly and salaried.

Ford past year kicked off a company-wide $11-billion restructuring after both Europe and Asia swung to losses and costs to invest in electric and self-driving vehicles mount. He said that business changes could be "significantly more dramatic" regarding the company's United Kingdom plants in the event the country crashes out of the bloc without a deal - a scenario that could see, among other things, tariffs imposed on goods traded and widespread disruption at ports. The cost of the new strategy, the company said, will be around $11 billion and will take place over the next three to five years. The company says this new operating model will better enable the businesses to make fast decisions centered on customer needs.

Over the long term, Ford is targeting earnings before interest and taxes of 6 percent of sales in Europe.

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The company said it would shift to more electric models and that every model from now on will have a battery version, whether a hybrid that combines internal combustion and battery power or a battery-only version.

A niche portfolio of imported iconic nameplates for Europe that builds on the heritage of the Ford brand will include Mustang, Edge, and another SUV to be revealed in April, along with an all-new Mustang-inspired full-electric performance utility in 2020.

As well as this, the seek to stop manufacturing automatic transmissions in Bordeaux in August and review its operations in Russian Federation.

Formal discussions have begun between Ford and its Works Council to end production of the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX at the Saarlouis Body and Assembly Plant in Germany as the compact MPV segment shrinks in Europe.

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It is also undertaking a review of its joint venture in Russian Federation. Several significant restructuring options for Ford Sollers are being considered by Ford and its partner, Sollers PJSC.

Ford's $14 billion global cost-saving plans includes exiting the minivan segment, stopping manufacturing of automatic transmissions in Bordeaux in August, reconsidering its operations in Russian Federation, and combining the headquarters of Ford U.K. and Ford Credit to a site in Dunton, Essex. The action is subject to union consultation and local approvals.

Ford will instead focus on developing more profitable "crossover" vehicles, Mr Armstrong confirmed.

The cost-cutting plan has not been adjusted to account for the possibility of a "hard" exit by Britain from the European Union without securing tariff-free cross-border trade, Armstrong said.

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