Ford to cut THOUSANDS of jobs across Europe in major shake-up

11 Janvier, 2019, 17:55 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Ford to cut jobs in European revamp

Jaguar Land Rover and Ford are preparing to implement cost cutting plans which will result in thousands of job losses for the UK's automotive sector.

Auto maker Ford will cut thousands of jobs across Europe as part of a major restructuring plan that will see it ditch unprofitable models and boost production of electric vehicles.

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.

The decline is part of a picture which led to JLR's recent posting of a £354m half-year loss.

Steven Armstrong, Group Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: "We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe".

JLR said demand in China, once one of its strongest countries, fell by 21.6 percent in 2018, the biggest drop of any of its markets.

In China, demand was adversely impacted by consumer uncertainty following import duty changes and escalating trade tensions with the US.

Ford announced it is starting consultations with its union partners and other key stakeholders to implement a comprehensive transformation strategy aimed at strengthening the Ford brand and creating a sustainably profitable business in Europe. A Ford spokesman said the carmaker now assumes that any Brexit deal would keep tariff-free trade between Britain and Europe.

Ford also plans to consolidate its United Kingdom headquarters and Ford Credit Europe's headquarters at the Ford Dunton Technical Center in South East Essex.

"We want to be a net contributor of capital and not a net detractor", Armstrong told journalists on a later call, referring to Europe's financial contribution to USA parent Ford Motor F.N .

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In the first nine months of 2018, Ford reported European losses of $199 million, compared to a profit of $278 million in the same period of 2017.

Together, the plants employ more than 7,000 people.

Automakers have been hit by a regulatory clampdown on diesel emissions ever since Volkswagen admitted to systematic cheating in 2015, leading regulators to discover massive discrepancies between real-world and theoretical pollution levels. The company's move follows plans announced previous year to reduce white-collar jobs across the company's global business.

He said potential closure of plants would "not be off the table".

He added that the company is unlikely to develop next-generation diesel engines for smaller vehicles, with customers abandoning the segment more aggressively than anticipated.

"If Brexit went in the wrong direction we would need to take another look to mitigate the impact of that - we will take whatever action is needed".

He said the scale of the restructuring assumed that Britain would leave the European Union as scheduled on March 29 with a negotiated deal defining trading relations.

"This is not a effect of the Brexit situation", he said.

Fellow carmakers Mini, Rolls-Royce and Honda have said they would temporarily close plants in April after Brexit to avoid any disruption.

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