Ford is to cut 5,000 jobs in Germany and an undisclosed number in the UK as part of a massive efficiency drive, which the company hopes will turn around results that saw it rack up European losses of £192m in the third financial quarter.
The Ford cost-cutting plan is intended to increase pre-profit earnings by up to $11m (£8.2m) over the next three to five years. As well as job losses, the company will be axing “less profitable vehicle lines”, and shifting away from MPVs to SUVs. Production of the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX in Germany is ceasing, and Ford’s gearbox factory in Bordeaux, France is to close.
The news comes the day after Ford’s CEO, Jim Hackett, was revealed to have received total compensation of around $17.7m (£13.3m) in 2018.
A company statement released to the Financial Times said the company has “offered voluntary separation programs for employees in Germany and the UK to help accelerate the plan and return to sustainable profitability.
“Through these programs and other initiatives, Ford of Germany expects to reduce its headcount in excess of 5,000 jobs, including temporary staff. The total number of positions impacted in the UK is still to be determined.”
As well as redundancies, Ford intends to “leverage relationships” such as “the potential alliance with Volkswagen” in its global strategy plan, a move likely to further increase the company’s presence in the commercial vehicle market.
Ford will also significantly increase the number of electrified models in its range, with every car “from the all-new Ford Focus onward” including an “electrified option” – be it a full EV or hybrid powertrain, or a ‘mild’ hybrid capable of recouping energy from regenerative braking, and aiding acceleration via a beefed-up alternator.
The new Transit van – due later in 2019 – will also be available with an electrified option, while Ford has confirmed an “all-new Mustang-inspired performance utility” will be unveiled in 2020.
Ford employs 13,000 people in the UK and around 54,000 in Europe. The company is targeting a six per cent profit margin in Europe, which would be higher than has previously been achieved in the region. The news comes in the same week JLR confirmed 4,500 job losses.
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