Ford to Cut 3,800 Jobs in the EU Amid Electromobility Transition
US automaker Ford plans to cut 3,800 jobs in product development and administration areas in Europe, as a part of a relocalization strategy that aims to reduce costs in the region and focus engineering know-how in the US to respond to growing EV demand in the US.
Jim Farley, CEO, Ford, highlights that the electromobility transition will change the current manufacturing, engineering and development techniques that ICE vehicles use, as it will require a smaller workforce and a cost reduction strategy to remain competitive. The automaker will cut back around 2,300 and 1,300 positions in Germany and the UK, respectively, plus another 200 in the rest of the continent.
“We are completely reinventing the Ford brand in Europe: unapologetically American, with outstanding design and connected services that will differentiate Ford and delight our customers in Europe”, says Martin Sander, General Manager of Ford Model E, Ford Europe, according to The Engineer. The company wants to be the leader in the electric car race in Europe, as its “first European-built electric passenger vehicle is being introduced this spring and will surely turn heads.”
The company will maintain an engineering body of approximately 3,400 people in Europe, focused on vehicle design and development, as well as the creation of connected services. The news comes as the UK automotive industry battles Brexit-related uncertainty and the shift toward electric vehicles, with other automakers announcing similar job cuts recently.
“These are difficult decisions, not taken lightly. We recognize the uncertainty it creates for our team, and I assure them we will be offering them our full support in the months ahead. We will engage in consultations with our social partners so we can move forward together on building a thriving future for our business in Europe,” Sander said.
This comes after the company announced a US$3.5 billion investment to build the first automaker-backed lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery plant in the US, as reported by MBN. The new facility, called BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, will have a capacity of 35GWh/y, enough to power around 400,000 Ford electric vehicles, and will initially provide employment to 2,500 people when it starts production in 2026, according to a company press release.
This investment is aligned to the company’s objectives of relocating the automaker engineering force to the US and part of its commitment to invest over US$50 billion in electromobility by 2026. The automaker's ultimate goal is to lead the EV revolution in America and become a forerunner in the industry's journey towards decarbonization. "We are committed to leading the electric vehicle revolution in America, and that means investing in the technology and jobs that will keep us on the cutting edge of this global transformation in our industry," said Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford.