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article imageFord cutting 12,000 jobs in Europe in restructuring effort

By Karen Graham     Jun 27, 2019 in Business
Ford said it will cut 12,000 jobs in Europe by the end of next year to try to return the business to profit, part of a wave of cost reductions in an auto industry facing stagnant demand and huge investments to build low emission cars.
Europe's carmakers are in a challenging position - one being the need to increase investments in electric, hybrid and autonomous vehicles while at the same time - overhauling combustion engines to meet new clean air regulations, which in Europe are some of the strictest in the world.
According to the Financial Times, Ford Europe detailed the overhaul of its European business platform, saying that by the end of 2020, it will have 18 production facilities, compared to 24 at the start of this year.
This reduction in facilities includes selling its Slovakian engine site and closing five other facilities, including its engine plant at Bridgend in Wales, a transmission plant in France, and three Russian sites.
The carmaker will also cut shifts at facilities in Valencia, Spain and Saarlouis, Germany, reports Reuters. “We have largely concluded consultations with social partners regarding restructuring actions,” Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe told Reuters.
The total workforce reduction of 12,000 will include 2,000 salaried positions that are part of a bigger move by Ford to dismiss 7,000 salaried employees globally. All this is part of the company's plan to “redesign” its business under chief executive Jim Hackett.
The Detroit Free Press is reporting that in his prepared statement, Rowley said, “Ford will be a more targeted business in Europe, consistent with the company’s global redesign, generating higher returns through our focus on customer needs and a lean structure."
He added: “Implementing our new strategy quickly enables us to invest and grow our leading commercial vehicle business and provide customers with more electrified vehicles, SUVs, exciting performance derivatives and iconic imported models.”
Ford also plans on "freshening and expanding its vehicle line-up in Europe, introducing at least three new nameplates in the next five years as it continues to grow its utility vehicle portfolio, including the all-new Mustang-inspired fully electric performance utility. The new nameplates are in addition to all-new Kuga, Puma and Explorer Plug-In Hybrid coming by early 2020.”
With all the changes, Ford is hoping to continue to lead in pickup sales and double profitability over the next five years, reports Fox Business.
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