Ford Cutting Over 1,000 Jobs in Germany as Company Pivots to EVs

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

ford cutting over 1 000 jobs in germany as company pivots to evs

Ford is reportedly preparing to lay off a minimum of 1,000 German employees as it prepares to manufacture two battery-electric models developed under Volkswagen’s MEB platform. The partnership is old news, as is Ford wanting to pivot toward all-electric vehicles. However, everyone seems surprised that the decision would be accompanied by job cuts – despite countless reports having predicted that the global push toward EVs would mean far-fewer automotive jobs in the years to come.

The premise was a major aspect of the Trump administration's decision to soften Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which were later undone by an executive order from Joe Biden and countless lawsuits coming out of California. But it was also echoed by numerous automakers who suggested that electrifying their lineup would be a good way to reduce labor costs and streamline production. Though the companies doing so typically maintain that they’ll eventually be supplanted by higher-paying positions requiring more technical expertise. This is also the assumption that the Biden administration is operating under and part of the rationale behind the government’s heavy subsidization of the industry.

Still, everyone certainly acts surprised whenever there’s another round of layoffs.

Based on reporting from the Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche, Ford’s factory in Cologne, Germany, is about to see its workforce shrink by a “four-digit number.” That means at least 1,000 people.

The facility is currently home to the Fiesta subcompact economy car that used to be sold here in the United States before the Blue Oval decided it would be more profitable to sell large vehicles with broader margins. Moving forward, the facility will be used to produce a pair of battery-electric models utilizing Volkswagen’s MEB architecture. However, nobody seems to have expected that this would be accompanied by sweeping layoffs.

According to the report, Ford will be removing staff from just about every sector of the business – as Cologne also serves as the brand’s regional headquarters. Layoffs are alleged to reach people working in assembly, engine and transmission manufacturing, and also in development, administration, and even sales. German media has suggested that the biggest hit will take place at Ford's technical center in Merkenich – which is near Cologne.

Ford declined to comment on the matter but said the transformation to EVs required "significant change" in the way it manufactures automobiles. "We have no comment on the current speculation about a possible restructuring at Ford in Europe," a spokesperson explained.

A final tally for projected job losses is expected this spring. Though it’s likely to be accompanied by subsequent layoffs throughout Europe as the company shifts toward “software-defined vehicles” using all-electric propulsion.

Ford's passenger lineup in Europe is supposed to become all-electric by 2030 and the automaker expects two-thirds of commercial van sales to be electric or plug-in hybrids within the same time frame.

[Image: Iryna Imago/Shutterstock]

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4 of 15 comments
  • EBFlex EBFlex on Jan 24, 2023

    Nothing says progress like putting thousands of people on the unemployment rolls

    • See 1 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jan 24, 2023

      "Nothing says progress like putting thousands of people on the unemployment rolls"

      Automation has rendered millions unemployed since the industrial revolution.

  • MachoMansSoftSide MachoMansSoftSide on Jan 24, 2023

    All those Congo-kid-supplied jalopies with no one left able to afford them in Europe.

  • Buickman GoneFast.
  • SCE to AUX I sat in a 200 in the showroom, and promptly walked away. The back seat was extremely awkward to ingress/egress, and the car was small inside.Turns out even Sergio agreed, and he was upset about it: attractive exterior hid a terrible car. Those early 9-spd autos were awful.
  • Pianoboy57 I've always thought the 300D was just about the perfect car. Mine would have been green like my current Outback is. Once upon a time there was a Volvo diesel at the nearby BHPH lot. Too bad nobody rescued that one. I did have the privilege of owning a TDI Sportwagen and I would have kept my 02 Passat if it had been a diesel wagon. A few years ago I used to see older TDI Passats for sale on CL by owners who claim to have taken good care of them. Too bad you can't get a diesel in an Outback.
  • ToolGuy "A 920-volt electric system is rumored to enable faster charging times than any EV on sale today." If you can find a compatible charger, that is??• Differing voltage standards -- yet another way to slow down EV adoption.Engineers R Awesome™
  • SCE to AUX "without a must-have feature or selling point, the VF8 won't be top-of-mind for buyers"Yep, that's the problem with any new product, let alone an entire aspiring brand. I think they hoped the battery subscription would be a helpful distinctive, but they discovered that it was a negative instead.Perhaps they got their product launch guidance from Ford.