Ford prepares for major layoffs in Europe
Ford has confirmed that it will cut around 3,800 jobs in Europe over the next three years, mainly in the area of product development. The Cologne site, as the European development centre, is particularly affected. According to Ford, the step is necessitated mainly by electromobility.
According to Ford, the layoffs are taking place against the background of the transition to purely electric drives with the associated reduced vehicle complexity. Or as it says in the press release: “The actions announced today align Ford’s product development organization and administrative functions in Europe, with a smaller, more focused, and increasingly electric product portfolio. The plans include the elimination of approximately 3,800 jobs, creating a leaner, more competitive cost structure for Ford in Europe.”
What Ford does not mention at this point: the supposedly lower development complexity is not to be eliminated, but will be served from the USA in the future. As early as mid-January, Martin Sander, Ford’s electric car development manager in Europe and chairman of the management board of Ford-Werke GmbH, indicated in an interview that a new electric platform for Europe would be developed primarily in the USA.
The company agreement now reached with employee representatives provides for 3,800 of the 34,000 jobs (about eleven per cent) to be cut across Europe within three years. In Germany, 2,300 of 19,000 jobs are to be cut – 1,700 of them in development and 600 in administration. In the UK, Ford is cutting 1,300 jobs, and another 200 jobs are to be eliminated at “smaller European Ford locations”.
“Paving the way to a sustainably profitable future for Ford in Europe requires broad-based actions and changes in the way we develop, build, and sell Ford vehicles,” Sander now says, according to the statement. “This will impact the organizational structure, talent, and skills we will need in the future.” “These are difficult decisions, not taken lightly. We recognize the uncertainty it creates for our team, and I assure them we will be offering them our full support in the months ahead. We will engage in consultations with our social partners so we can move forward together on building a thriving future for our business in Europe,” Sander added.
Nothing will change in Ford’s electric plans in Europe, according to the company. Production of the first electric model produced by Ford in Europe is to begin in Cologne before the end of this year.
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