Ford to cut 7,000 jobs globally, including in the UK

22 May 2019

Car and van giant Ford has announced it will cut 7,000 jobs worldwide by the end of August, including an unconfirmed number in the UK.

The cut is part of an organisational restructure that will prepare it for declining demand for cars and the shift to electric vehicles.

The cuts represent 10% of its global workforce and 20% of its management positions, including marketing and communications. 

The plan will reduce Ford's salaried workforce by 10% and will be made through both voluntary and forced redundancies, according to the firm.

Ford said the plan, which includes 2,300 cuts in the US, will save the company $600m (£471m) a year.

In March, Ford said it would axe 5,000 jobs in Germany, including hourly, salaried and temporary staff.

But it is not yet clear if and how the plans will affect workers in the UK, where Ford employs about 12,000 people.

Ford's chief executive Jim Hackett said: "The total number of positions impacted in the UK is still to be determined."

In a letter to workers, Mr Hackett said that as part of the new wave of cuts, management positions would be targeted.

"To succeed in our competitive industry, and position Ford to win in a fast-changing future, we must reduce bureaucracy, empower managers, speed decision making, focus on the most valuable work and cut costs," he said.

He added that the re-organisation was designed to help the company create "a more dynamic, agile and empowered workforce, while becoming more fit as a business".

When GM announced its own job cut plans in November last year, the company's chief executive, Mary Barra, said the cuts were about making the car manufacturer "highly agile, resilient and profitable".

Of the total 14,000 redundancies at GM, some 4,000 jobs have been lost in the US.

Mr Hackett said that due to a change in company practice, workers losing their jobs would now be allowed to stay on for a few days and bid their co-workers farewell instead of having to leave Ford straight away.

"Ford is a family company and saying goodbye to colleagues is difficult and emotional," he said.

"We have moved away from past practices in some regions where team members who were separated had to leave immediately with their belongings, instead giving people the choice to stay for a few days to wrap up and say goodbye.

It employs 12,000 people in the UK but was unable to share details about how many positions would be affected, although some media reports put the number at 550.

In a memo to staff, Ford chief executive Jim Hackett said the restructuring plan would start immediately, with most of the job losses completed by the end of August.

“To succeed in our competitive industry, and position Ford to win in a fast-changing future, we must reduce bureaucracy, empower managers, speed decision-making and focus on the most valuable work, and cost cuts,” he said.

In a statement, Ford said the action was necessary to “position Ford for success today and yet preparing to thrive in the future”.

It added: “Initiatives are expected to reduce in excess of 5,000 jobs in Germany, including hourly, salaried and temporary staff. The total number of positions impacted in the UK is still to be determined.”

The news follows an announcement by General Motors last November to stop production at five factories in North America with the loss of more than 14,000 jobs. It also plans to close three plants outside the US by the end of the year.

The move will save it an estimated £4.7 billion by the end of 2020.

 

   

 



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