Fordwants to strengthen its competitive position and return to profitability in Europe and for this it will undertake a plan of voluntary redundancies for its workers in European territory, whichIt will affect thousands of workersand that has the objective ofreduce labor costs,as reported by the company.
The American automaker has already initiated a formal consultation with its works council and union partners, together with other interested parties, to implement its comprehensive transformation strategy aimed at strengthening the brand and creating a sustainable and profitable business in Europe.
Sources of the company confirmed to Europa Press that the company will cut thousands of jobs in European territory, although they assured that there is not determined an exact number by countries. In Spain, the firm has a plant inAlmussafes(Valencia) and employs 7,400 people.
Ford already advanced on October 9, after a marathon day with the representatives of the works councils,"hard decisions" in Europeto look for profitability, which would imply the reduction of costs in all areas and, predictably, the cut of staff.
"We are taking decisive steps to transform Ford's business in Europe, investing in vehicles, services, segments and markets that support a profitable business in the long term and in a sustainable manner," said the group's vice president and president of Ford of Europe, East Middle and Africa, Steven Armstrong.
Short term,the North American company will accelerate the reduction of its structural costsand it will include changes in its product portfolio, improving or abandoning less profitable vehicle lines and addressing low-yield markets. It will also conduct a strategic review of Ford Sollers, the company's joint venture in Russia.
In this way, it will carry out aparallel redesignto include a line of vehicles more focused on the client within three business groups: commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles and imports.
Ford Europe aspires to obtain in the long terman operating margin of 6%, with returns higher than the cost of capital for each business group.
The American firm alsowill end the production of its Ford Aquitaine gearbox factory in Blanquefort (France), where 850 people work, at the end of August of this year, after rejecting an offer from the Punch Powerglide gearbox supplier to buy the factory.
It also plans to consolidate its headquarters in the United Kingdom and Ford Credit Europe in the Ford Dunton Technical Center in South East Essex (England) despite the departure of the British country from the European Union (EU) scheduled for next March 29. However, the action is subject to union consultation and local approvals.
"Working collectively with all stakeholders, our new strategy will allow us to offer a focused line of vehicles manufactured in Europe, while our import grows and a healthier and more profitable business," Armstrong said.
Ford will provide more details of the strategy in the coming months,once the consultation initiated by the company with the works council and unions has concluded.