Ford Plans to Cut More UK Jobs in European Restructuring
Having already announced plans to cut thousands of jobs in Europe in an effort to stem the region’s ongoing cash hemorrhage, Ford has reportedly begun re-examining the United Kingdom. Initially, the automaker’s restructuring plan involved ending production at a transmission plant in France, killing the C-Max in Germany, and dissolving its Ford-Sollers joint venture in Russia.
While Ford hoped to shed as many employees as possible through voluntary retirement, it acknowledged it would have to fire at least 5,000 people in Germany and an unspecified number of U.K. citizens in March. The company hasn’t settled on a figure, though inside sources claim it should be no more than 550 jobs — all of which should be of the non-manufacturing variety.
Bloomberg hoped to get an official headcount from the company after verifying its source, but only got boilerplate feedback from Ford.
“The total number of positions impacted in the U.K. is still to be determined,” the automaker said in a statement, adding that the firm will continue leaning on voluntary separation packages “to help accelerate the plan and return to sustainable profitability.”
Ford previously confirmed that its Bridgend plant in Wales will lose 350 to 400 jobs and that it would merge its U.K. offices — likely losing some staff in the process. The good news is that this probably means we know exactly where those 550-ish jobs will be lost. However, the company has previously said it would announce job cuts at the “appropriate time.” Thus far, Ford has carefully spaced out cuts to avoid sensational headlines.
We imagine the company is waiting to see how Brexit pans out before making any more big decisions. Like other automakers with a foothold in the Europe market, the British government, and about half of the country’s population, Ford is extremely wary of Brexit. It claims a no-deal exit would be a disaster for its businesses within the region, and we doubt the UK and EU’s continued postponement of the situation has made anyone feel more secure on the matter.
Global restructuring is expected to cost Ford around $11 billion in order to get Europe, South America and China where it wants them. In addition to the European factory closings, the automaker announced plans to idle a Brazilian plant and exit South America’s commercial truck business in February. All told, the company hopes its restructuring efforts will save it $25.5 billion over the next few years.
[Image: Ford Motor Co.]
Lorenzo on May 14, 2019
Brexit might be a convenient excuse for backing slowly out of the UK and Europe. If they're losing money now, and the European Union government in Brussels continues to impose regulation after regulation on ICEs while promoting electric vehicles, there will be no free market in Europe, or way to make money there.
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