Ford Europe wants to cut jobs again

Ford converts production in Cologne to electric cars

Fiesta production at the German Ford headquarters in Cologne: soon it will be over, at the end of the year the production of new electric models will start there.

(Photo: dpa)

Dusseldorf There are signs of new job cuts at Ford Europe. As announced on Friday from business circles in Cologne, “a significant part” of jobs is to be cut this year. The European subsidiary of the US car company did not want to comment on request. A works meeting is planned for Monday at the German headquarters in Cologne, at which the car manufacturer’s employees will be informed about the plans.

In addition, it was said from company circles that there are no exact figures on the scope of the planned job cuts. The exact extent is currently being determined. A decision is expected this spring. In Cologne it is considered likely that a four-digit number of employees will have to go. The job cuts not only affect the German part of the US car company, but the entire European subsidiary.

Ford is suffering from continuing sales problems on the European continent. After three years of crisis in a row with the corona pandemic, a lack of semiconductors and high energy prices, the European subsidiary of the US car company wants to significantly reduce its cost base again.

Ford loses sales

According to the European manufacturers’ association Acea, Ford sold around 380,000 cars in the EU last year, a drop of 2.3 percent compared to 2021. Ford Europe mainly sells small and medium-sized cars. With this vehicle segment, Ford was not able to cushion the strong price increases of recent years as well as most premium manufacturers. Companies like Mercedes and BMW simply increased prices and sold higher quality vehicles. They had thus maintained their earnings level in contrast to Ford.

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The recent restructuring program at Ford Europe is not that long ago. In 2019 and 2020, the group cut around 5,000 jobs in Germany and around 10,000 across Europe. This should actually be the end of the restructuring process at the European Ford subsidiary, the American vehicle manufacturer announced at the time. The new plans for further job cuts, which Ford Europe is now also preparing, are all the more surprising.

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Ford sold in the EU in 2022 – 2.3 percent less than in the previous year.

Regardless of these latest plans, Ford is sticking to the closure of its own vehicle plant in Saarlouis, which was announced last summer. By 2025, the Focus mid-range model will still be rolling off the production lines there. After that, production and the entire factory are abandoned. A good 4,500 Ford employees are expected to lose their jobs as a result.

>> Read here, why Ford is giving up the Saarlouis plant.

The current plans to cut jobs are likely to affect administration and development areas rather than production. In Cologne, the main German plant is currently being converted to the production of new electric cars, which is scheduled to begin at the end of this year.

The Cologne employees from production will continue to be needed for this. The small car Fiesta is currently still rolling off the assembly lines at the German main plant.

More: Ford adjusts the Fiesta in Cologne faster than planned

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