Ford announces reorganization and job cuts in Europe

The site of the Ford company in Blanquefort. - Nicolas Tucat / AFP

US automaker Ford announced Thursday a major reorganization of its operations in Europe that will result in
job cuts, which he has not quantified, in order to revive a competitiveness deemed insufficient. "The improvement of structural costs will be supported by a reduction of surplus jobs across all functions," said the company in a statement, announcing start consultations with trade unions.

"Ford aims to reduce labor costs as much as possible through voluntary departures in Europe and will work closely with social partners and other stakeholders to achieve this goal," says the group.

Less profitable models improved or deleted

The second US manufacturer, which has suffered for years from a loss of market share and insufficient profitability in Europe, says it wants to "return to profitability in the short term." Ford emphasizes that it will review its product portfolio, considered by experts as poorly adapted to European market trends. The brand's market share in the blue oval has fallen over the last twenty years, from nearly 11% of sales in 2000 to 6.4% last year.

The manufacturer explains that it "intends to improve or eliminate the least profitable models, and will put in place specific action plans for under-performing countries". Ford says it has already closed its transmission plant in Blanquefort, southwestern France. He has also begun talks in Germany to stop the production of his minivans C-Max and Grand C-Max in his factory in Saarlouis, near the French border.

Under the pressure of Wall Street

It also examines "several options for restructuring its joint venture Ford Sollers in Russia" and "a decision is expected in the second quarter". "Ford will provide details of its strategy in the coming months, once formal consultations with its works council and union partners have been concluded," he said.

The manufacturer has been under pressure from Wall Street for months calling for a strategic plan to improve profits. Ford's stock has fallen 33% year-on-year and lost nearly half of its value over the last five years.