Ford is restructuring its European business into three business groups Commercial Vehicles, Passenger Vehicles, and Imports in a move designed to improve efficiency and profitability.
The Commercial Vehicles group will be lead by general manager Hans Schep and based at the Dunton technical centre which is being strengthened through facility improvements and investments to enhance technical skills.
Ford intends to grow its leadership as the top-selling CV brand in Europe, including leading the pickup segment, and doubling its CV profitability in Europe in the next five years.
Earlier this year it formed a strategic alliance with Volkswagen to develop products in the Commercial Vehicle market.
The business redesign also takes account of the move to electric vehicles. Every new Ford passenger vehicle nameplate will include an electrified option, delivering one of the most comprehensive line-ups of electrified options for European customers. A future family of battery electric vehicles will be assembled in Europe.
“Our future is rooted in electrification,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe.
“We are electrifying across our portfolio, providing all of our customers with more accessible vehicle options that are fun to drive, have improved fuel economy and are better for our environment.”
The company aims to improve manufacturing efficiency through the closure or sale of six assembly and component manufacturing plants by the end of next year, including:
- Proposed closure of Bridgend Engine Plant in South Wales
- Closure of Ford Aquitaine Industries Transmission Plant in France
- Closure of Naberezhnye Chelny Assembly, St. Petersburg Assembly and Elabuga Engine Plant in Russia
- Sale of the Kechnec Transmission Plant in Slovakia to Magna
As a result, Ford’s manufacturing footprint in Europe will be reduced to a proposed 18 facilities by the end of 2020, from 24 at the beginning of 2019. In the UK, the Ford of Britain and Ford Credit Europe headquarters in Warley also will close later this year and operations consolidated in Dunton.
In addition, Ford is implementing shift reductions at its assembly plants in Saarlouis, Germany, and Valencia, Spain, as well as a more streamlined management structure and marketing and sales operations.
In total, approximately 12,000 jobs will be impacted at Ford’s wholly owned facilities and consolidated joint ventures in Europe by the end of 2020, primarily through voluntary separation programs. Around 2,000 of those are salaried positions, which are included among the 7,000 salaried positions Ford is reducing globally.