Ford to cut jobs, idle plants, change lineup in Europe
Ford is starting consultations with its union partners and other key stakeholders to implement a comprehensive transformation strategy aimed at strengthening the Ford brand and creating a sustainably profitable business in Europe. The strategy - which is part of the company's broader global vision of providing smart vehicles for a smart world - will offer differentiated vehicles designed to create a deeper connection with Ford customers. Near term, Ford is accelerating key fitness actions and reducing structural costs. In parallel, the fundamental redesign will include changes to Ford's vehicle portfolio, expanding offerings and volumes in its most profitable growth vehicle segments, while improving or exiting less profitable vehicle lines and addressing underperforming markets. "We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe," said Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa. "We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers." Ford is entering into formal consultation with its Works Council and trade union partners, and is committed to working together with all key stakeholders to enable the new strategy. To improve near-term financial performance, Ford will drive improvement in profitability across its product portfolio. This improvement will be driven by reducing the complexity of existing Ford products, optimizing the most profitable vehicle configurations, and increasing volumes of profitable vehicle lines. Structural cost improvements will be supported by reduction of surplus labor across all functions - salaried and hourly. An improvement in management structure, announced in December, already is underway through Ford's redesign of its global salaried workforce, that will improve the agility of the organization. Ford aims to achieve the labor cost reductions, as far as possible, through voluntary employee separations in Europe and will be working closely with social partners and other stakeholders to achieve this objective.