Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Europe Just Got Hit With a Massive Wave of Auto Job Cuts

JLR and Ford prepare for mass job cuts Ford to cut THOUSANDS of jobs across Europe in major shake-up
Laurie Berry | 12 January, 2019, 18:57

The auto maker is eyeing up ways to reduce costs and exit less profitable markets after struggling to turn a profit. This improvement will be driven by reducing the complexity of existing Ford products, optimizing the most profitable vehicle configurations, and increasing volumes of profitable vehicle lines.

"I expect there to be further job losses across the industry", David Bailey, professor of industrial strategy at Aston University, told Yahoo Finance UK this week.

Armstrong was quoted by the Financial Times as saying the number of layoffs would be in the "thousands" but declined to repeat that quantity in a conference call with reporters, saying only that there would be a "substantial impact" on the workforce.

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

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

In recent quarters, JLR and Ford's profits have lagged behind those of peers BMW, Volkswagen, and Peugeot, ramping up investor pressure on managers to stem losses. Ford executives say the company hasn't been profitable there for decades.

Passenger Vehicles: Ford will establish a more targeted portfolio of European-built passenger vehicles focused on the quality, technology-rich and fun-to-drive DNA of the Ford brand, with the goal of building emotional connections with customers through sporty and progressive designs.

"We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business", he said.

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The automaker employs approximately 54,000 people in Europe.

"With record levels of new investment and models set to come on stream in its United Kingdom factories we look for Jaguar Land Rover to continue to be a global success and the jewel in Britain's manufacturing crown".

"Brexit is another factor, with businesses increasingly concerned about the prospect of a "no deal" Brexit, which would mean tighter border controls", he said.

The announcement came on the same day that Jaguar Land Rover also announced 4,500 job cuts.

"The Welsh Government will continue to work closely with Ford to protect the hundreds of highly skilled jobs & supply chain, as well as look for other high-technology opportunities for the site".

The automaker now has about 53,000 people working at its wholly-owned facilities across Europe primarily in the United Kingdom, Spain, and German. Now, Ford has said that every model from the Focus onwards will include an electrified option. "Building on last year's investment in their key plants in Solihull and Halewood to build the next generation of Land Rover models, including electric vehicles".

The BBC reports up to 5,000 employees could be cut at the company.

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