Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Ford, Jaguar slash thousands of jobs across Europe

Ford, Jaguar slash thousands of jobs across Europe

Announced as Jaguar Land Rover also plans for job losses, the new strategy - which targets a 6% operating margin in Europe - will see the carmaker introduce a more targeted vehicle line up within three customer-focused business groups - Commercial Vehicles, Passenger Vehicles and Imports.

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.

Ford's European business, which relies on models like the recently revamped Fiesta and Focus hatchbacks, reported a $245 million loss during the third quarter, widening from $192 million a year earlier.

"We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe", Mr Armstrong said.

It is understood the Bridgend engine plant will be the hardest hit of any of the firm's United Kingdom factories if the plans go ahead.

Meanwhile, Ford Europe announced today it will be cutting thousands of jobs from its workforce, which now totals 53,000; 24,000 of those workers are based in Germany.

"We believe Ford Europe could require as much as a 20 to 30 percent reduction of capacity and headcount", Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said in a note on Thursday.

Ford has not said how many would be affected by the cutbacks but confirmed it would pull out of the MPV segment, combine Ford UK and Ford Credit headquarters to one site and review its Russian operations.

Shares of Ford dropped more than 2% to $8.51 just after Thursday's opening bell.

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"Our support for the plant on its road to modernisation becomes even more critical in this context". It lost 354 million pounds between April and September 2018.

JLR's figures were also dented by the introduction of European emissions standards known as WLTP, which resulted in a fall in demand for diesel cars.

Steven Armstrong, Ford's group vice president, warned the company would have to make further cuts in the case of a hard Brexit.

Trade unions said they had been told of the initial cuts in South Wales a day after Ford warned of big cuts in its lossmaking European operations.

Mr Armstrong declined to say how many jobs will be cut, but he said the impact will be "significant".

A Ford spokesman said the carmaker now assumes that any Brexit deal would keep tariff-free trade between Britain and Europe.

Ford is in the midst of a massive, worldwide restructuring effort, and General Motors has also announced layoffs and plant closures in recent months.

But we understand that early talks are around a first tranche of job losses involving voluntary redundancies.

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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