Ford to cut THOUSANDS of jobs across Europe in major shake-up

The Ford logo is seen at the New York Auto Show in New York

The Ford logo is seen at the New York Auto Show in New York

On Thursday, the company said it would be speeding up plans to cut structural costs and thousands of jobs would go across Europe.

The carmaker is under pressure to restructure its European operations after archrival General Motors raised profits by selling its European Opel and Vauxhall brand to France's Peugeot SA.

As well as this, the seek to stop manufacturing automatic transmissions in Bordeaux in August and review its operations in Russian Federation.

Ford's $14 billion global cost-saving plans includes exiting the minivan segment, stopping manufacturing of automatic transmissions in Bordeaux in August, reconsidering its operations in Russian Federation, and combining the headquarters of Ford U.K. and Ford Credit to a site in Dunton, Essex.

"We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe", Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president for Europe, Middle East and Africa said in a statement.

"We want to be a net contributor of capital and not a net detractor", Armstrong told journalists on a later call, referring to Europe's financial contribution to U.S. parent Ford Motor. Similar to America, Ford will swing to a lineup of crossovers and SUVs, and drop several derivatives to streamline its offering, Armstrong said.

The announcement from Ford came on the same day as Jaguar Land Rover said it was axing 4,500 jobs and Honda said it was halting production for six days after Brexit.

Armstrong said the company is in negotiations with worker representatives about potential job cuts at its Saarlouis plant in Germany, where 6,190 staff assemble cars, as the carmaker considers discontinuing production of its Ford C-Max model.

Ford declined to confirm the figures and said it was now consulting with unions. It employs almost 13,000 workers in the United Kingdom, and 40,000 staff across the rest of Europe.

Ford Europe, which employs 53,000 people, has struggled to turn a profit, reporting a €245 million ($282 million) loss before interest and taxes in the third quarter, equivalent to a negative 3.3% EBIT margin.

"The plan will result in fewer jobs - both hourly and salaried - but it is premature to speculate on how many as we have just begun discussions with our Works Council and union partners", the company said in a statement on Thursday.

"We will migrate out of the MPV segment", Armstrong said, referring to the family vans segment.

Ford's European business relies on models like the recently revamped Fiesta and Focus hatchbacks.

Ford's Armstrong said pressure to build electric and hybrid cars had forced the carmaker to make choices about where to allocate its capital. The companies have only confirmed a commercial vehicle venture together to date.

The plans are for two phases of cuts at Bridgend, achieved by 2021, sources said. Only the headline has been changed.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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