Ford plans to close plants and slash its workforce in Europe

Daniel Fowler
January 12, 2019

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is set to confirm plans to cut thousands of jobs - affecting roles including administration, marketing and management. Ford also said that the job cuts would be discussed with labour unions and would have an impact on all the departments in the company.

Together, the plants employ more than 7,000 people. The German Economy Ministry is in talks with the automaker over its planned job cuts in Europe, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

In recent quarters, JLR and Ford's profits have lagged behind those of peers BMW, Volkswagen, and Peugeot, ramping up investor pressure on managers to stem losses.

Like many of its rivals, Ford has been caught out by a fall in the sale of diesel cars after VW's emission cheating scandal. "To weather this volatile external scenario, we have launched a comprehensive turnaround plan to significantly improve our free cash flows and profitability".

Profits at Ford of Europe fell 82 percent past year, in part due to the fall in the value of the pound as a result of uncertainty over Brexit.

The firm cut 1,000 temporary contract workers at its plant in Solihull in 2017.

The US carmaker announced the changes on Thursday, framing the restructuring as part of a global overhaul that the company has said will cost $11 billion.

Ford started consultations with unions, with details of any job cuts not expected until later in the year, although staff now based at Warley in the West Midlands will move to Dunton in Essex.

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"We are looking to make a step-change in the performance of the business", Steven Armstrong, Ford's head of Europe, said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg News.

"We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business", he said. How many exactly are affected, leaving the Ford open. Ford will focus instead on developing more profitable "crossover" vehicles.

"Britain's auto workers have been caught in the crosshairs of the Government's botched handling of Brexit, mounting economic uncertainty and ministers' demonisation of diesel, which along with the threat of a no-deal Brexit, is damaging consumer confidence".

'Unite is fully committed to opposing any compulsory redundancies and campaigning strongly for Bridgend to have a viable future.

The British marque owned by Indian behemoth Tata Group said it would cut 4500 jobs, mostly in the United Kingdom and mainly from its blue-collar workforce, though Tata said it was "committed to the long-term growth and success of JLR".

We have already heard this week about Ford's review of its European operations - as well as the cutbacks at Jaguar Land Rover.

Meanwhile Rolls Royce Motor Cars chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos has pledged that the carmaker will remain in Britain post-Brexit.

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