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.

  • Kwik_Shift I like, because I don't have to look at them. Just by feel and location while driving.
  • Dwford This is the last time we are making these, so you better hurry up and buy (until the next time we make them, that is)
  • FreedMike @Tim: "...about 40 percent of us Yanks don't live in a single-family home."Keep in mind that this only describes single family **detached** homes. But plenty of other house types offer a garage you can use to charge up in - attached single family homes (townhouses, primarily), or duplex/triplex/four-plexes. Plus, lots of condos have garages built in. Add those types of housing in and that 40% figure drops by a lot. Regardless, this points out what I've been thinking for a while now - EV ownership is great if you have a garage, and inconvenient (and more expensive) if you don't. The good news if you're looking for more EV sales is that there are literally hundreds of millions of Americans who have garages. If I had one, I'd be looking very closely at buying electric next time around.
  • Matthew N Fanetti I bought a Silver1985 Corolla GTS Hatchback used in 1989 with 80k miles for $5000. I was kin struggling student and I had no idea how good the car really was. All I knew was on the test drive I got to 80 faster than I expected from a Corolla. Slowly I figured out how special it was. It handled like nothing I had driven before, tearing up backroads at speeds that were downright crazy. On the highway I had it to about 128mph on two occasions, though it took some time to get there, it just kept going until I chickened out. I was an irresponsible kids doing donuts in parking lots and coming of corners sideways. I really drove it hard, but it never needed engine repair even to the day I sold it in 1999 with 225000 miles on it, still running well - but rusty and things were beginning to crap out (Like AC, etc.). I smoked a same year Mustang GT - off the line - by revving up and dumping the clutch. Started to go sideways, but nothing broke or even needed attention. Daily driving, only needed the clutch into first. It was that smooth and well-synced. Super tight, but drivable LSD. Just awesome from daily chores to super-fun.To this day I wish I had kept it, because now I have the money to fix it. It is hard to explain how amazing this car was back in the day - and available to people with limited money - and still the highest quality.
  • Cprescott Well, duh. You will pay more to charge a golf cart than an ICE of the same size if you charge externally. Plus when you factor in the lost time, you will pay through the nose more than an ICE on lost opportunity costs. Golf car ownership savings is pure myth.