Automobile manufacturer Ford wants to step on the gas in the transformation from combustion engines to electric drives. Therefore, a total of 3800 jobs are to be cut across Europe. Germany and the United Kingdom will be hit particularly hard.
According to current plans, Ford wants to offer only electric cars by 2035. This coincides exactly with the decision of the European Parliament – on the very day Ford announced its restructuring plans, the Parliament decided not to admit any new cars with combustion engines from 2035. Ford plans to invest $50 billion worldwide by 2026 to convert to e-cars.
More than half of the R&D job cuts, 1700 in total, will affect Ford’s Cologne and Aachen sites in Germany. Another 1000 developer jobs will be cut in the UK. According to media reports, the Dunton site will be particularly affected. In addition, another 100 engineering jobs will be cut at various locations in Europe. On top of these figures in R&D departments come another 600 in administration and marketing functions.
Across Europe, however, about 3,400 jobs in vehicle design and development as well as in the development of connected services are to be retained, the company’s European headquarters announced. Overall, Ford also wants to achieve a leaner cost structure with the job cuts. In addition, the development of electric powertrains requires less personnel capacity, according to the company.
Not included in the currently communicated figures is the planned closure of the production plant for the Focus compact car in Saarlouis, Germany – 4500 jobs will be lost there after production is scheduled to end in 2025.
The carmaker plans to start production of its first electric model for the European market in Cologne in October, and the company intends to have another e-model rolling off the production line in Europe from next year. These two models are to be technically based on Volkswagen’s modular e-drive system (MEB). On this basis, Ford initially plans to produce 1.2 million units. In media reports, the head of Ford’s European model strategy, Martin Sander, is quoted as saying that it is still unclear whether Ford will continue to develop together with VW, but that an in-house development is also conceivable.