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Ford is laying off 12,000 workers in Europe

Ford is laying off 12,000 workers in Europe

Enlarge / A Ford sign at the Ford Engine Plant in Bridgend, South Wales—one of the plants slated to be closed in the next 18 months. reader comments 8 with 8 posters participating, including story author Share this story Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Ford is planning to lay off 12,000…


A Ford sign at the Ford Engine Plant in Bridgend, South Wales—one of the plants slated to be closed in the next 18 months.
Enlarge/A Ford sign at the Ford Engine Plant in Bridgend, South Wales—one of the plants slated to be closed in the next 18 months.

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Ford is planning to lay off 12,000 workers across Europe, the company announced on Thursday. Ford says it will reduce the number of manufacturing facilities in Europe from 24 at the beginning of 2019 to 18 at the end of 2020.

Ford will be closing plants in South Wales and France and three in Russia. Ford is also selling a Slovakian plant to Magna.

The 12,000 workers represent a bit less than 20% of Ford’s 65,000-person European workforce. Ford says that most job reductions will be voluntary separations. About 2,000 of the layoffs will be salaried workers—part of a previously announced 7,000-person reduction in Ford’s salaried global workforce.

Ford signaled that European job cuts were imminent back in January, but Thursday’s announcement is the first time Ford has given specific information about how many jobs will be cut and in which facilities.

The move is part of a broader restructuring of Ford’s business. Turmoil in the global trading system—from Brexit to Donald Trump’s trade wars with Mexico and China—have forced car companies to reassess their product lines and supply chains.

Ford announced last year that it was scrapping most of its passenger cars for the US market to focus on SUVs and trucks. It then announced a new manufacturing alliance with Volkswagen this year, in which Ford will manufacture some VW-badged vehicles and vice versa. Ford and Volkswagen are also reportedly close to a deal to share electric and self-driving technology.

In its Thursday press release, Ford says that it would be relying on its VW partnership to grow its already substantial share of the European commercial vehicle market.

Correction:Ford announced last year that it was scrapping its cars and trucks for the US market. I originally implied that this would be true globally.

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