Ford plans to cut 1,150 jobs in Britain, Unite union says

Ford plans to cut 1,150 jobs in Britain, Unite union says

"This is not about making the business today more efficient, but completely redesigning it", said Steve Armstrong, Ford's chief of Europe, Middle East and Africa operations.

PLANS by vehicle giant Ford for a shake-up of its European operations could lead to the loss of 1,000 jobs at one of its United Kingdom plants, sources claimed today.

Ford's $14 billion global cost-saving plans includes exiting the minivan segment, stopping manufacturing of automatic transmissions in Bordeaux in August, reconsidering its operations in Russian Federation, and combining the headquarters of Ford U.K. and Ford Credit to a site in Dunton, Essex.

Unite, the main vehicle workers' union, said it had been briefed to prepare for 1,150 job losses. How many exactly are affected, leaving the Ford open.

Ford is establishing three customer-focused business groups in Europe - Commercial Vehicles, Passenger Vehicles, and Imports - each with clearly defined aspirations and dedicated organizations.

The firm cut 1,000 temporary contract workers at its plant in Solihull in 2017.

The company's new plans follow moves to close an automatic transmission plant in Bordeaux, combine administrative headquarters in Britain and end production of its C-Max models in Saarlouis, Germany.

Armstrong said on a call that the future of the European operations lies in crossover vehicles and SUVs, and that sedans and compact vans are in decline.

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"The group is overly dependent on diesel vehicles, and given the crackdown on emissions, petrol cars have become more popular", noted David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Near term, Ford is accelerating key fitness actions and reducing structural costs.

Ford started consultations with unions, with details of any job cuts not expected until later in the year, although staff now based at Warley in the West Midlands will move to Dunton in Essex.

CEO Jim Hackett, who is under pressure from financial markets, hopes the initiatives will enable Ford to nearly double its operating margin to eight per cent by 2020, compared to 4.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2018.

He added, "If Brexit goes in the wrong direction and we have a hard Brexit, we would need to look again about what we could do to mitigate the impact of that (in the UK)".

As well as this, the seek to stop manufacturing automatic transmissions in Bordeaux in August and review its operations in Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, negotiations have been ongoing for months over a Ford-VW partnership to develop autonomous technologies, as well as commercial and electric vehicles.

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