US carmaker Ford plans to cut up to 3,200 jobs across Europe and move some product development work to the United States to slash costs in a shift toward electric vehicles, as per a report by Reuters.
Ford has lost 3,000 employees, largely in the US, in the second half of last year. The European layoffs follow those actions.
To help pay the $50 billion he is investing in the development of electric vehicles, Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley is aiming to eliminate $3 billion from standard internal combustion engine models.
“We absolutely have too many people in some places, no doubt about it,” Farley told analysts in July after the layoff news broke.
“We have skills that don’t work any more, and we have jobs that need to change.”
Ford declined to confirm the cuts in Europe with a spokesman saying that “no decisions have been made.”
The company has been revamping its European presence, after struggling to maintain market share for its lineup of passenger cars amid disappointing returns. Its local commercial-vehicle making arm has been a bright spot.
At its Saarlouis facility in Germany, which employs roughly 4,600 people, Ford will stop producing the Focus model by 2025 and has no further intentions to do so.
While maintaining a $2 billion planned EV investment at its major European production facility in Cologne, where Ford employs approximately 14,000 people, the firm is looking for alternatives for the location.
After years of restructuring that saw the automaker close or sell a number of factories while making significant employment losses, the US manufacturer's presence in the area has been on the decline.
According to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, its market share for passenger automobiles was 4.4% last year with sales of little over 5,10,000 vehicles.
Ford established an initial agreement with Volkswagen AG several years ago to collaborate on EV development in order to advance its EV rollout plan.
Based on VW's modular MEB platform, the business will start producing an all-electric crossover model this year with ambitions to add others.
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