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Nearly half of Ford's European job cuts will be in Germany

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Nearly half of Ford's European job cuts will be in Germany
An employee at the Ford plant in Cologne. Photo: DPA
15:00 CEST+02:00
US carmaker Ford said Thursday that it plans to slash a total of 12,000 jobs across Europe as part of a previously-announced restructuring.

That means nearly half – 5,400 – of the planned job cuts by the car manufacturer are in Germany.

Ford builds a large proportion of its cars for Europe in Germany where it employs around 24,000 people. At its headquarters in Cologne around 18,000 people are employed.

The firm said it plans to close or sell six plants in Britain, France, Russia and Slovakia in 2019 and 2020.

"Ford's manufacturing footprint in Europe will be reduced to a proposed 17 facilities by the end of 2020, from 24 at the beginning of 2019," the group said. A total of 1,700 jobs are being slashed in Wales.

The announcement on Thursday is the first time Ford has publicly stated the jobs impact of its plans.

READ ALSO: Ford to slash over 5,000 jobs in Germany

'First step towards sale'

The move has raised concerns over the future of Ford in Europe.

"This could be the first step towards a complete or partial sale" of Ford's car business in Europe, industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer of the University of Duisburg-Essen's CAR institute said.

The job cuts will come "primarily through voluntary separation programmes", said Ford, which employs around 51,000 people and operates 24 factories around Europe.

As well as the factory closure in Wales, three sites in Russia, one in Slovakia and one in France will be shuttered.

Group chief executive Jim Hackett announced last autumn a massive restructuring of the American firm, aiming to save $11 billion and turn Ford into a more "agile" group with faster decision-making processes.

The company aims to catch up with the world leaders in the industry's transformation towards autonomous and electric-powered driving, as well as services like car-sharing and ride-sharing.

Ford says that "financial results in Europe are on track to significantly improve for full year 2019", adding that in future it will refocus on electric mobility.

Its European operations will be reorganized into three divisions: commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, and imports.

 
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