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Ford's European operation recently returned to profit

Ford To Cut Hundreds Of Jobs In UK And Germany

WT24 Desk

Car maker Ford is to shed hundreds of jobs in the UK and Germany as part of a programme to save $200m (£138m) a year,Sky News reports.

The group said it was launching a voluntary redundancy programme as it looked to slash costs across its European business, in the face of mounting regulatory costs.

It comes after Ford recently revealed that its European operation had returned to profit for the first time in four years in 2015.

Production and product development workers will not be affected by the job cuts. The company said they were mainly likely to go in administration and marketing.

Ford no longer makes cars in Britain but still employs 14,000 workers in the country. Plants in Dagenham and Bridgend make car parts and there are also sites in Dunton in Essex, Daventry in Northamptonshire, and a head office at Warley in Essex. The company employs 53,000 people in Europe.

Jim Farley, head of Ford’s European, Middle East and Africa business, said: “In the past three years, Ford of Europe has improved its business in all areas and moved from deep losses to a $259m (£179m) profit in 2015. This is a good first step.

“We are absolutely committed to accelerating our transformation, taking the necessary actions to create a vibrant business that’s solidly profitable in both good times and down cycles.

“We are creating a far more lean and efficient business that can deliver healthy returns and earn future investment.

“Our job is to make our vehicles as efficiently as possible, spending every dollar in a way that serves customers’ needs and desires, and creating a truly sustainable, customer-focused business.”

Ford has already shut three car plants in western Europe in 2013 and reached cost-saving agreement with unions in Germany and said that it was continuing to “enhance its cost efficiency and manufacturing capacity utilisation”.

Its latest announcement on jobs involves what the company calls a “voluntary separation programme”.

Meanwhile, Ford is also boosting its product line in Europe with seven new and updated vehicles being launched this year.

Hybrid and electric vehicles are to be introduced in Europe by 2020 as part of Ford’s previously-announced $4.5bn (£3.1bn) investment in electrified vehicles.

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