Ford Plans to Cut More UK Jobs in European Restructuring

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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.]

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  • Lorenzo 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.

  • Jeff S Corey Lewis--GM designed those cars shortly after the 1978 oil crisis caused by a reduction in oil production in Iran and the eventual over throw of the Shah and the Iranian hostage crisis. GM anticipated gas would be $5 a gallon and up and that there would be shortages of oil. By the late 80s the supply of oil stabilized and gas and diesel prices stabilized. Ford didn't have the resources to completely redesign all their cars and except for the midsize, compact, and small cars that were front wheel drive and that is why Ford held onto the Panther platform for so long. GM just on the X car design and development spent 2.5 billion dollars and spent at least another billion on the C platform that was used on those 1985 full size front wheel drive cars.
  • SilverCoupe I am one of those people whose Venn diagram of interests would include Audis and Formula One.I am not so much into Forums, though. I spend enough time just watching the races.
  • Jeff S Definitely and very soon. Build a hybrid pickup and price it in the Maverick price range. Toyota if they can do this soon could grab the No 1 spot from Maverick.
  • MaintenanceCosts Would be a neat car if restored, and a lot of good parts are there. But also a lot of very challenging obstacles, even just from what we can see from the pictures. It's going to be hard to justify a restoration financially.
  • Jeff S Ford was in a slump during this era and its savior was a few years away from being introduced. The 1986 Taurus and Sable saved Ford from bankruptcy and Ford bet the farm on them. Ford was also helped by the 1985 downsize front wheel drive full sized GM cars. Lincoln in 1987 even spoofed these new full size GM cars in an ad basically showing it was hard to tell the difference between a Cadillac, Buick, and Oldsmobile. This not only helped Lincoln sales but Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria sales. For GM full size buyers that liked the downsized GM full size 77 to 84 they had the Panther based Lincoln Town Cars, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victorias that were an alternative to the new GM front wheel drive full size cars that had many issues when they were introduced in 1985 and many of those issues were not resolved for several years. The Marks were losing popularity after the Mark Vs. 1985 was the last year for the rear wheel drive Olds Delta 88 and rear wheel drive Buick Lesabre the rear wheel Caprice and Caprice Classic 3rd generation continued till 1990 when it was redesigned. B Body Buick Estate wagons continued thru 1990 as the Olds Custom Cruiser wagon and both were redesigned. GM held onto a few rear wheel drive full size cars but the Lincoln ad really brought home the similarly looking front wheel drive full size cars. Lincoln's ad was masterful.