Ford cost-cutting drive expected to hit thousands of jobs in UK and Europe

Alex Daniel
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Ford Post 1 Billion Dollar Quarterly Profit
The car maker has 54,000 employees in Europe and 13,000 in the UK (Source: Getty)

Ford has announced cost-reduction plans which are expected to lead to thousands of job losses in the UK and Europe.

The car maker, which has 54,000 employees in Europe and 13,000 in the UK, is reviewing its operations across the continent in a major shake-up of its business.

The company hopes to save around $14bn (£10.97bn) in a global cost-reduction drive.

Read more: Jaguar Land Rover confirms 4,500 job cuts as it switches focus to electric vehicles

Ford is in talks with unions about the cost-cutting measures, with plans to make fewer, more profitable car models in Europe in future.

In a statement, Ford did not give a number for the cuts, but said: “Structural cost improvements will be supported by reduction of surplus labour across all functions – salaried and hourly,” the company said.

“Ford aims to achieve the labour cost reductions, as far as possible, through voluntary employee separations in Europe and will be working closely with social partners and other stakeholders to achieve this objective,” it added.

“We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe,” said Steven Armstrong Ford’s vice president.

“We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers.”

In 2017 General Motors pulled out of Europe after several years of losses in the region.

Ford will expand its commercial vehicle operation, and is considering an alliance with German car maker Volkswagen to support growth in the sector.

It will also focus more heavily on electric and hybrid technology, it said, with all-electric vehicles being offered across its range of models.

Shares were up 4.24 per cent this morning on the news.

Read more: UK car sales fall for second year in a row as Brexit uncertainty dampens demand

Earlier this week, it was announced UK car sales had fallen for the second year running, according to figures from industry body The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Dealerships sold 2.37m new cars in 2018, 6.8 per cent fewer than it managed in 2017, and 12 per cent below 2016’s peak of 2.69m, SMMT said.