Ford Trimming 12,000 European Jobs Before 2021

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
ford trimming 12 000 european jobs before 2021

Back in January, Ford provided the preliminary details for its European restructuring plan. The company had been losing money there for years and didn’t want it to be remain a liability as it dumped cash into autonomous research and electric vehicle development. With aims to achieve a 6-percent operating margin within the region, the automaker’s plan to tidy up the business was put into motion.

Thus far, Ford has ceased production at three plants in Russia, cut shifts in Germany and Span (rest in peace, C-Max), and has earmarked additional facilities in France and the United Kingdom for closure. By the end of next year, the automaker expects to have cut 12,000 jobs related to its European operations.

That figure comes via Reuters, which discussed the restructuring plan with Ford’s European head Stuart Rowley. “We have largely concluded consultations with social partners regarding restructuring actions,” he said.

From Reuters:

About 12,000 jobs will be affected at Ford’s wholly owned facilities and consolidated joint ventures in Europe by the end of 2020, primarily through voluntary separation programs.

Around 2,000 of those are fixed salaried positions, which are included among the 7,000 salaried positions Ford is reducing globally, the carmaker said. The rest are workers on hourly contracts or agency workers.

Ford currently has 51,000 employees in Europe (65,000 when you count joint ventures) and 24 facilities. But it’ll be shy 12,000 people and drop at least 6 factories by the time the ball drops on December 31st, 2020.

Based on statistics from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Euro car sales fell by 4.6 percent in January vs the same month in 2018. At the time, ACEA claimed this was not the dire situation it seemed to and expected a stable year. But its tune has changed. On Thursday, the group suggested that European passenger car registrations would slip by 1 percent in 2019, nullifying its previous prophecy of modest growth.

The extended forecast for Europe looks equally grim. Most analysts now assume the region will continue to backslide in terms of growth, with the more optimistic scenario being stabilization. However, even a stagnating auto market is predicated on the belief that Europe’s economy will balance itself out when there’s a fair bit of evidence pointing toward a continental recession and continued trade woes. Still, let’s not count any chickens before they’ve hatched.

While the next few years are expected to be difficult for every manufacturer operating within Europe, Ford believes its plan to streamline its commercial vehicle business with help from Volkswagen and the restructured Ford Sollers joint venture will work. It’s also abandoning passenger “vans” (M-segment vehicles) to focus more on developing electrified crossovers — which it expects to be more profitable in the long run. Understandable, as Europe’s M-segment has been faltering for years and crossovers are more fashionable.

However, all of this means less product being built within Europe’s borders. As a result, Ford said it expects to triple passenger car imports into the market by 2024.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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