Overnight The Blue Oval announced that it will cut 3800 jobs, or about 11 percent of its workforce Ford of Europe.
The carmaker said 1000 jobs would be lost from administrative functions, and 2800 jobs would be cut from product development. The majority of engineering job losses will occur in Germany (1700) and the UK (1000).
After the cuts are complete, Ford expects it will have about 3,400 engineers in Europe, who will focus on “vehicle design and development, as well as the creation of connected services”.
If Ford succeeds in making these cuts, it will shrink its European product development team by just over 45 percent.
Ford said it hoped to “achieve reductions through a voluntary separation program”, and that “this change is driven by the transition to a fully electric powertrain and reduced vehicle complexity”. Ford plans to use an all-electric range in Europe by 2035.
In a prepared statement, Martin Sander, head of Ford’s Continental Model E division, said the company was “completely reinventing the Ford brand in Europe” to be “unapologetically American”.
The first phase of this transformation will take place next quarter when Ford unveils its first European-made EV, which Sander promises will “definitely be in the spotlight”.
The crossover will be the first of two vehicles based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB architecture, both of which will be built in Cologne, Germany to replace the Fiesta currently being built there.
Coming in 2024 is an all-electric variant of the popular Puma crossover.
The next European EV will reportedly be based on a new yet-to-be-seen platform developed in the US, and will be built in Valencia, Spain.
In addition to this announced electric passenger car, Ford of Europe’s streamlined design and engineering department will also be responsible for maintaining the company’s position as the number one commercial vehicle brand on the Continent.
It already sells the Turkish-made E-Transit, while the smaller E-Transit Custom will enter production later this year.
As noted in a recent opinion piece at European Automotive NewsFord’s market share in Europe has declined dramatically over the past few decades, from 11.8 percent in 1994 to 8.2 percent in 2007, and 4.8 percent in 2021.
Sales of Ford vehicles on the continent could decline before they recover, with the company confirming last year that it will end production of the Fiesta in 2023, with the Focus to follow in 2025.
Although sales of the Focus and Fiesta have declined in recent years, the segment they play in is still very popular, with vehicles in the Fiesta class and smaller occupying six of the top 10 spots in the European sales charts last year.
There are rumors that the Kuga/Escape will not be replaced, although this does not mean that Ford will go without a vehicle in the small crossover segment as the company sells the more rugged Escape-based Bronco Sport in North America.
For Europe, the EV range will expand to include the Volkswagen ID.4-sized crossover this year, with the crossover coupe variant joining the competition in 2024.
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