Ford Europe to Cut Thousands of Jobs in Turnaround Drive

The automaker’s global cost-cutting effort starts with eliminating thousands of jobs, discontinuing slow-selling models, and combining headquarters.
William SprouseJanuary 10, 2019
Ford Europe to Cut Thousands of Jobs in Turnaround Drive

Ford Motor Co. announced plans to cut thousands of jobs, discontinue unprofitable vehicle lines, and exit markets as part of a major effort to restructure its operations in Europe.

“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.

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The announcement came after Ford Europe reported a loss of $282 million (245 million euro) before interest and taxes in the third quarter.

In October, CEO Jim Hackett said an “unexpected deterioration” in Europe was a key reason why it cut its goal of achieving an 8% global operating-profit margin by 2020. The company employes 53,000 people in the region.

In a call with reporters, Steven Armstrong would not give specific numbers on the expected job cuts but said they would take place across the workforce and would be across Europe rather than country specific.

“It will be a significant number within the 50,000 we employ,” he said.

In France, Ford plans to stop manufacturing automatic transmissions in Bordeaux. In the U.K., the automaker plans to combine the headquarters of Ford U.K. and Ford Credit to a site in Dunton, England. The automaker also plans to conduct a review of operations in Russia and is considering job cuts at its Saarlouis plant in Germany.

Armstrong said no decision was made on its engine and components plants in Dagenham and Bridgend in the U.K., but added “nothing is off the table.”

Market economist Jon Gabrielsen said Ford has been in “desperate need” of a restructuring in Europe for a decade and has failed to regain market share it lost between 2008 and 2013.

“The announcement today may not even be enough to turn it around independently, but may instead be preparing the way for partnerships with Volkswagen that we hope to learn more about next Tuesday,” he said.

Photo: Getty Images