Ford to cut 3 200 jobs in Europe

Ford plans to cut about 3 200 jobs across Europe, following workforce reductions in the US as the car-maker slashes costs in a shift toward electric vehicles.

A majority of the affected positions are concentrated in Germany affecting roles in product development and administrative areas, the IG Metall union said Monday after an extraordinary works council meeting at the car-maker’s factory in Cologne. The cuts would affect roughly 65 percent of development jobs in Europe.

Development activities in Germany are set to be relocated to US, according to an IG Metall statement.

The European cutbacks come after Ford already eliminated 3 000 jobs primarily in the US in the second half of last year. Chief executive officer Jim Farley is targeting US$3 billion in cuts as he seeks to boost profits from traditional internal combustion engine models to help finance the US$50 billion he is pouring into developing electric vehicles.

“We absolutely have too many people in some places, no doubt about it,” Farley told analysts in July after Bloomberg broke the news of the coming job cuts. “We have skills that don’t work any more, and we have jobs that need to change.”

Ford declined to confirm the cuts in Europe with a spokesman saying that “no decisions have been made.” The company has been revamping its European presence, after struggling to maintain market share for its lineup of passenger cars amid disappointing returns. Its local commercial-vehicle making arm has been a bright spot.

The car-maker in June had warned of cuts at its European workforce, as development and production of electric vehicles is less labour intensive. The company plans to go almost completely electric in the region by the end of the decade. — Bloomberg.

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