Ford to cut jobs as it restructures in Europe

Ford to cut jobs as it restructures in Europe

Automotive News Europe — 2023-01-20

Automotive Industry

Ford will cut more than 1,000 jobs in Germany as it switches its business in the region to selling only electric cars.

The automaker plans to reduce the workforce at its European headquarters and factory in Cologne, Germany, by a four-digit number, sources told Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche.

The job losses will be across the board in assembly, engine and transmission manufacturing, and also in development, administration and sales, the sources said.

The company is creating a new business structure for its European operations, the sources said.

Ford is pulling out of low-margin volume segments such as small cars and compact models in a bid to make its European business sustainably profitable.

The automaker is spending $2bn to convert its Cologne plant to build two battery-electric cars based on Volkswagen Group's MEB platform, while ending output of the long-running Fiesta hatchback there. It will drop the Focus compact car in 2025 after ending production of the car at its plant in Saarlouis, Germany.

Ford's passenger lineup in Europe will become all-electric by 2030 and it expects two-thirds of commercial van sales to be full-electric or plug-in hybrids by the same date.

The jobs cuts are expected to fall heavily on Ford's technical center in Merkenich near Cologne, according to German press reports.

Ford needs fewer engineering resources for its electrification shift because it is using VW Group's MEB all-electric platform for two EVs it will launch in 2023 and in 2024. After those launches, Ford future EVs in Europe will use the automaker's new software-defined, electric architecture developed in the US.

Ford has not yet determined the exact number of jobs that will be cut and a decision is expected in the spring, the reports said.

The job cuts will mostly affect Germany but will also happen in other European markets.

Ford declined to comment on the report but said the transformation to EVs required "significant change" in the way it produces cars. "We have no comment on the current speculation about a possible restructuring at Ford in Europe," a spokesperson said.