Ford cutting 3,800 jobs in Europe

Thousands of jobs will be lost at US automaker Ford. At the German locations in Cologne and Aachen alone, 2,300 people will lose their jobs - especially in administration and the development department.

The US car company Ford wants to cut 2,300 jobs in Germany in just under three years as part of the conversion from car production to electromobility. The locations in Cologne and Aachen are affected, as the company announced today.

This involves jobs in administration and the development department, where 1,700 jobs are to be cut. According to the works council, around 3,600 people are still working in this area. Around 14,000 people currently work for Ford in Cologne and around 200 in the Aachen research center.

Staff will also be reduced in other European countries. Great Britain is also affected by the austerity plans, where 1000 jobs in product development and 300 in administration will be lost. A further 200 jobs will be cut elsewhere in Europe. According to the plans, a total of 3,800 jobs will be lost by the end of 2025.

The costs should go down

Despite the cut, Ford wants to keep 3,400 engineers in Europe. They are to adapt the technology developed in the USA to the peculiarities of the European market.

“The measures announced today align Ford’s product development organization and administrative functions in Europe with a smaller, more focused and increasingly electric product portfolio,” said Germany boss Martin Sander. This is necessary in order to achieve competitive costs and “to pave the way to a sustainably profitable future”.

No redundancies for the time being

IG Metall agreed to the job cuts. In return, the group promised severance payments, and it also intends to refrain from redundancies until the end of 2032. “After two tough weeks of negotiations between the parties, an agreement for the future has been reached that includes cost savings for the company as well as securing the German locations for the employees,” the union said.

The works council announced the cutback plans in January and feared at the time that as many as 3,200 jobs could be lost. Now the chairman of the general works council, Benjamin Gruschka, was relieved that the worst had been prevented. “We would have liked to have secured even more jobs in our product development, because it is at the beginning of the value chain,” said the employee representative. “After all, we have now been able to secure 900 good, qualified jobs and important skills for the future of our product development, which would have been eliminated in the company’s original planning.”

Late reaction to Elektrotrend

Ford is currently in a state of upheaval, the car company switched to electric models relatively late. This year, the first pure Ford electric cars manufactured in Europe are to roll off the assembly line in Cologne. The combustion model Fiesta, on the other hand, will be discontinued. Ford is investing billions in Cologne for electric production. However, with the plans that have now been made public, the city is losing importance as a development site for the group.

The US automaker made a loss of more than two billion dollars last year. Ford is now reacting to this with a radical cure. CFO John Lawler recently announced “very aggressive” measures to reduce production and supply chain costs at the presentation of the balance sheet.

In Europe, the pre-tax loss widened to $400 million in the fourth quarter. That was twice as much as in the previous year – with unchanged sales. Experts see the job cuts in the areas of research and development as a result of the cooperation with Volkswagen. Ford has the license from the Wolfsburg manufacturer to build an electric car based on the MEB electrical construction kit, which saves development costs.

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