Ford to cut jobs to strengthen European business

Irving Hamilton
January 13, 2019

"I call companies like Ford. the squeezed middle", Urquhart says.

If plans go ahead, the 990 jobs to be lost at Bridgend - nearly half of the site's workforce - will go in two phases by 2021, as part of 1,150 losses across the UK.

New all-electric vehicles will be offered for all Ford models, while there will be a more "targeted" line-up of models in the future. "Nothing is off the table", Mr Armstrong said.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is set to confirm plans to cut thousands of jobs - affecting roles including administration, marketing and management.

Ford Europe has been a money loser for several years and now needs to restructure its operations to turn that trend around.

On Thursday, Ford had signalled it would make "significant" cuts among its 50,000-strong European workforce under plans to make it more competitive.

"That is JLR's biggest market, but auto buyers there are reluctant to make expensive purchases as the economy is growing at its slowest rate for a decade and the country is locked in a trade war with the U.S.", Stadler said.

Bosses did warn, though, that a further review of United Kingdom operations would be needed should the United Kingdom leave the European Union without a deal.

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The company said that "every Ford nameplate from the all-new Ford Focus onwards will include an electrified option".

Commercial Vehicles: Ford will continue to enhance its commercial vehicle leadership in Europe with a tightly integrated offering of smart vehicles, services and partnerships that deliver lifetime value for commercial customers.

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.

It will include a range of measures to cut costs in areas such as purchasing, manufacturing and engineering, as well as to reduce "surplus labour", for which union negotiations are just beginning.

Ford aims to achieve the labor cost reductions, as far as possible, through voluntary employee separations in Europe and will be working closely with social partners and other stakeholders to achieve this objective.

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.

He added, "If Brexit goes in the wrong direction and we have a hard Brexit, we would need to look again about what we could do to mitigate the impact of that (in the UK)". This year, performance will already be "significantly better" than 2018, Armstrong said.

"We will migrate out of the MPV segment", Armstrong said, referring to the family vans segment. "We will still have a comprehensive lineup of cars in future with primarily SUVs and crossovers".

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