Ford Europe to slash thousands of jobs in turnaround plan

FILE PHOTO: The Ford logo is seen at the New York Auto Show in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Ford on Thursday said it will cut thousands of jobs, exit unprofitable markets and discontinue loss-making vehicle lines as part of a turnaround effort aimed at achieving a 6 percent operating margin in Europe.

Ford said it will seek to exit the multivan segment, stop manufacturing automatic transmissions in Bordeaux in August, review its operations in Russia, and combine the headquarters of Ford U.K. and Ford Credit to a site in Dunton, Essex.

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

Ford Europe, which currently employs 53,000 people, has struggled to turn a profit, posting a 245 million euros loss before interest and taxes in the third quarter, equivalent to a negative 3.3 percent EBIT margin.

Armstrong declined to quantify the scale of job cuts, pending negotiations with labor leaders, but said staff reductions would run into the “thousands”.

“Ford aims to achieve the labor cost reductions as far as possible through voluntary employee separations in Europe,” the carmaker said in a statement on Thursday.