New details of Ford Motor Company planning thousands of job cuts in Europe emerge after a media report last week. The layoffs will mainly affect Ford employees working in vehicle development, particularly in Germany and the UK, although other jobs will be cut ford Facilities are apparently also in the works. The layoffs come as Ford seeks to shift its production strategy towards larger vehicles and electric vehicles, but news of the cuts is already prompting unions in Europe to threaten to step in.
Ford of Europe is the American automaker’s subsidiary that designs and manufactures vehicles for overseas markets. With over fifty years of operation, Ford’s headquarters in Cologne, Germany, oversees ten different manufacturing plants in seven countries in Europe, including a new solar power plant at its location in Spain.
In recent years, Ford has remained quite open his plans for the future that include a full embrace of electrification, regardless of the short-term costs. While such a quest is admirable, it’s not without its fair share of collateral damage, as the legacy automaker is phasing out ICE vehicle production jobs in favor of electric vehicle assembly processes.
Last summer we reported that Ford was 8,000 US employees laid off, mostly those who assemble gas vehicles. At the same time, Ford seemed to be preparing and adjusting for the second billing in Europe a similar focus on electrification in a market that wants to completely ban all combustion sales by 2035.
In December 2022 we reported that Ford was developing a strategy for this Sell ”American Heritage”. to customers in Europe, giving up smaller ICE sedans for larger SUVs, crossovers and electric vehicles – again similar to the States.
As in the US last summer, Ford workers in Europe could soon feel the wrath of a green wave as the automaker plans to lay off thousands in a massive restructuring; so much so that unions are poised to intervene.
Ford is laying off thousands in Europe to refocus on SUVs and electric vehicles
During a meeting At Ford of Europe’s Cologne headquarters today, employees were told that much of the job loss would be in product development as the automaker shifts from smaller combustion models like the Fiesta and Focus in favor of EVs like that Mustang Mach-E.
According to local press reports, 2,500 to 4,000 of the current 6,250 product development jobs at Ford in Europe could be eliminated.
Germany’s IG Metall union said a majority of the layoffs will hit Germany and involve a reduction in administrative duties at headquarters, including up to 1,900 layoffs in Cologne alone. However, there will also reportedly be significant job cuts at other Ford plants in Europe.
Ford’s Merkenich plant, where the compact sedans mentioned above are currently being developed, could cut up to 3,800 jobs if these ICE models are phased out. According to reports, Ford’s research center in Aachen, Germany, and the technical center in the UK will also face some job cuts.
Ford Europe workers have been told total job loss figures will not be known until February, but unions supporting these workers are already standing by to intervene if necessary. According to IG Metall:
If the negotiations between the works council and management in the coming weeks do not secure the future of the employees, we will join the process. We will not shy away from measures that could seriously affect the company not only in Germany but throughout Europe.
Union involvement in Europe could certainly affect Ford’s overseas manufacturing output should workers band together and possibly strike in support of their sacked colleagues. This will be an ongoing saga to watch and Ford is finalizing its layoffs and shifting its development back in direction a fully electric future.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.