Ford says to end production at Ford Aquitaine industries plant in France
Ford is establishing three customer-focused business groups in Europe - Commercial Vehicles, Passenger Vehicles, and Imports - each with clearly defined aspirations and dedicated organizations. The new operating model will better enable the businesses to make fast decisions centered on customer needs. Ford of Europe is targeting a 6 percent EBIT margin longer term, with returns in excess of the cost of capital for each business group. Ford will continue to enhance its commercial vehicle leadership in Europe with a tightly integrated offering of smart vehicles, services and partnerships that deliver lifetime value for commercial customers. Ford will establish a more targeted portfolio of European-built passenger vehicles focused on the quality, technology-rich and fun-to-drive DNA of the Ford brand, with the goal of building emotional connections with customers through sporty and progressive designs. A niche portfolio of imported iconic nameplates for Europe that builds on the heritage of the Ford brand will include Mustang, Edge, and another SUV to be revealed in April, along with an all-new Mustang-inspired full-electric performance utility in 2020. Ford's new strategy will result in a more efficient and focused business. Key actions already underway include: Production at the Ford Aquitaine Industries plant in Bordeaux, France, which manufactures small automatic transmissions, will end in August 2019. Formal discussions have begun between Ford and its Works Council to end production of the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX at the Saarlouis Body and Assembly Plant in Germany as the compact MPV segment shrinks in Europe. Ford is undertaking a strategic review of Ford Sollers, its joint venture in Russia. Several significant restructuring options for Ford Sollers are being considered by Ford and its partner, Sollers PJSC. A decision is expected in the second quarter. Ford plans to consolidate its UK headquarters and Ford Credit Europe's headquarters at the Ford Dunton Technical Center in South East Essex to improve business fitness and create a customer-centric technical hub. The action is subject to union consultation and local approvals.