LONDON — Ford Motor Company plans to cut thousands of jobs across Europe in a bid to reduce costs and improve profitability, the company said on Thursday.
The company, which has 68,000 employees in Europe, including through joint ventures, did not specify exactly how many jobs would be lost, but a press officer confirmed that it would be “thousands.” The company said it would consult with unions and would aim to cut jobs through voluntary measures as much as possible. The reductions will affect employees across all departments, the company said.
“We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe,” Steven Armstrong, the group vice president and president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a statement. “We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers.”
Ford also said it would close a factory in Bordeaux, France, where it makes small automatic transmissions at the end of August. It is also discussing an end production of two minivan models at its factory in Saarlouis, Germany, as the market for minivans shrinks in Europe; reviewing a joint venture in Russia, Ford Sollers; and planning to consolidate its headquarters in Britain.
“Working collectively with all stakeholders, our new strategy will enable us to deliver a more focused line up of European-built passenger vehicles, while growing our import and commercial vehicle businesses — for a healthier and more profitable business,” Mr. Armstrong said.
Ford started downsizing in Europe in 2013 as a glut of cars meant its losses kept piling up, but its efforts to retrench in the region have been costly because of severance payments. From January to November 2018, it made up about 6.4 percent of new cars in the region, compared with roughly 24 percent for the VW Group and 16 percent for Groupe PSA, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Separately, the British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover is reducing its global work force by 4,500.
Although record sales of pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles in the United States have helped Ford’s profit, the company has been losing money overseas. It has held talks with Volkswagen about a possible alliance in Europe and South America, and explored cooperation with Mahindra, an automaker in India, where it has also struggled.