Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) has announced a new restructuring plan in Europe in order to improve efficiency and profitability, but the decision will involve job cuts and factory closures at several of its locations across the region.
As part of the restructuring, the company has created three new business groups – Commercial Vehicles (CVs), Passenger Vehicles (PVs) and Imports. The Commercial Vehicles group will be led by general manager Hans Schep and the Passenger Vehicles group by general manager Roelant de Waard.
Ford plans to broaden its presence in the pickup segment and to double its profits in CVs over the next five years in Europe through its partnership with Volkswagen and its JVs in Turkey and Russia. The PV group will focus on European-built cars and SUVs. Ford intends to more than triple passenger vehicle imports into Europe annually by 2024 through its Imports group.
Ford is looking to expand its vehicle line-up in Europe by rolling out at least three new nameplates in the next five years as it builds its utility vehicle portfolio. Like its peers, Ford faces challenges of investing in electric and autonomous vehicles while adhering to strict emissions regulations in Europe.
The restructuring plan includes the closure or sale of six assembly and manufacturing plants by the end of 2020 in locations such as Wales, France, Russia and Slovakia. Through these actions, Ford’s European manufacturing operations will be reduced to 18 facilities by the end of next year from 24 at the start of 2019.
The company has also cut shifts at two of its plants in Germany and Spain. These actions will affect around 12,000 jobs in total at Ford’s European facilities and JVs by the end of 2020, mainly through voluntary separation programs. Around 2,000 of these are salaried positions, included among the 7,000 salaried positions Ford is reducing globally.
Ford’s shares were up 2.6% in mid-day trade on Thursday.