Market: Ford wants to cut up to 3,200 jobs in Europe, says union
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by Victoria Waldersee and Christina Amann

BERLIN (Reuters) – Ford plans to cut up to 3,200 jobs in Europe and transfer some product development activities to the United States, German union IG Metall said on Monday, which pledged to take measures to impact the automaker across the continent if the job cuts materialize.

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The American manufacturer wants to cut up to 2,500 jobs in product development and up to 700 in administrative functions, with German sites being the most affected, said IG Metall.

Employees at the Cologne site, which employs around 14,000 people – including 3,800 at a development center in the Merkenich region – were briefed on the plans at works council meetings on Monday.

“If the negotiations between the works council and the management in the coming weeks do not secure the future of the workers, we will join the process”, said IG Metall.

“We will not hold back from taking measures that could have a serious impact on the company, not only in Germany but also on a European scale.”

Ford’s spokesman in Germany declined to comment, referring to a statement on Friday in which the automaker said the shift to electric vehicle (EV) production required structural changes and that there were no such changes. would say no more until the plans are finalized.

A spokesperson for Ford’s Michigan state headquarters said discussions with German works councils are continuing and the company needs to be “more competitive” in the transition to EVs. He declined to comment on layoff plans.

Last year, Ford announced a $2 billion investment to expand production at its Cologne plant to manufacture an all-electric model that would be mass-produced.

The automaker, which employs around 45,000 people in Europe, is planning seven new electric models in the region, a battery assembly site in Germany and a high-nickel cell manufacturing joint venture in Turkey.

It has also partnered with Volkswagen to produce 1.2 million vehicles with the German automaker’s MEB electric platform over a six-year period.

That partnership remains in place, Ford and Volkswagen representatives said, although Ford’s U.S. spokesperson added that Volkswagen’s role in Ford’s next generation of European electric vehicles remains to be determined.

Last June, however, Ford warned that it would make “significant” short-term job cuts at its plant in Spain and its plant in Saarlouis, Germany, because the switch to EV production will require fewer employees. hours of work to assemble the cars.

Ford’s pretax profit margins in Europe were 2.2% of sales for the first nine months of 2022, well below North America. He also warned in October of weakening economic conditions in Europe.

(Reports Victoria Waldersee, Christina Amann and Joe White, written by Rachel More; Kate Entringer, edited by Matthieu Protard)

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