Dusseldorf The development department is the heart of every automobile manufacturer. The engineers there are working on the future. They design the models with which a car manufacturer will earn its money a few years later.
Apparently, this no longer plays a role for Ford in Europe. The exact figures are not yet available. But there is no longer any major doubt that around two-thirds of the development engineers will have to leave this year. The US car company has announced a new austerity plan for its loss-making European department and therefore wants to cut the job plan in the Cologne development center.
The US headquarters sees the future in the greater concentration of development work in the USA. World cars are to be increasingly created there. This leaves less space for regional peculiarities such as in Europe. European customers should also orientate themselves more towards the US taste in the future.
Ford wants to focus on development
Ford has not been particularly successful in Germany and other European countries in recent years. The Ford managers themselves probably don’t really know how the car company wants to celebrate new successes in this country with models that have been developed more strongly in the USA. But one thing is certain: the second largest car company in the United States is moving further away from its European customers.
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In the longer term, the planned job cuts in the European development center will have a dramatic impact. The German Ford headquarters in Cologne loses the guarantors for a secure automotive future. If all the planned savings plans become reality, then the number of Ford employees in Cologne will fall below the 10,000 mark for the first time.
The loss of those engineers who would develop the European models for the post-2030 period is particularly painful. Work on it should start very soon. The cars with which Ford hopes to attract new customers by 2030 are more or less ready and no longer require any major development work.
>>Read here, which model range Ford Europe is planning for the future
When it comes to new austerity programs, Ford is seldom considerate and most of the time sticks steadfastly to its cost targets. This is shown by the planned closure of the car plant in Saarlouis, which has been decided since last year.
If the new models required for the European market are not available in Cologne after 2030, the Ford headquarters in the USA could come up with further savings ideas. Anyone who closes the plant in Saarlouis would certainly have no scruples about doing the same elsewhere.
More: Ford wants to downsize the Cologne development center and cut thousands of jobs.