Ford may slash 12% of jobs in Europe ops revamp

The Ford logo is pictured on the company’s stand during the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, March 7, 2018. (Reuters pic)

LONDON: Ford Motor Co may cut up to 24,000 jobs and stop producing models such as the Mondeo as it tries to revive its European business, the Sunday Times reported.

The second-largest US carmaker lost US$73 million in Europe between April and June, hurt by declining diesel sales and weak car offerings, the newspaper said. Ford faces additional uncertainty from Brexit, which could lead to tariffs on cars and parts traded between the UK and continental Europe, the Times said.

Morgan Stanley analysts estimate Ford will shed 12% of its 202,000 workers, mainly in its European operations, the Times reported. Ford has about 12,000 workers in the UK in factories, research and development, administration and dealerships, according to the newspaper. Ford is likely to end production of the Mondeo, Galaxy and S-Max people carriers in favour of more profitable sport utility vehicles, the Times said, citing unnamed people familiar the plans. The sources said Ford may also cut its amount of dealerships.

The review’s conclusions, which aren’t expected for several months, may also recommend putting some or all of Ford’s European unit into a joint venture with a rival such as Volkswagen AG, the newspaper reported. Ford Europe President Steven Armstrong said the company is focused on “aggressively attacking costs, implementing facility and product program efficiencies to lower product and material cost, as well as capital intensity in Europe,” the Times reported.

Last week Ford canceled plans to import a new crossover model from a plant in China after President Donald Trump’s tariffs undermined the business case for bringing the vehicle to the US market. Moody’s Investors Service last week lowered Ford’s credit rating to a step removed from junk, citing risks associated with a turnaround effort that Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett has warned could cost US$11 billion and take years.