Twin jobs blow to United Kingdom motor industry from Jaguar and Ford

Lloyd Doyle
January 12, 2019

Over 13 million people in the European Union work in the automotive sector, which works out to about 6.1% of the employed population, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

American carmaker Ford plans to cut 1,150 jobs in the UK, the Unite union said on Friday.

Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it is cutting jobs in Europe as it reshapes its business to focus on more profitable commercial trucks and SUVs while shifting production to electric cars over the longer term.

The US giant said the moves would "strengthen" the Ford brand and create a "sustainably profitable business in Europe".

Ford plans to cut 1,150 jobs in Britain, the Unite union said, with almost 1,000 job losses at its Bridgend engine plant in Wales.

In China, demand was adversely impacted by consumer uncertainty following import duty changes and escalating trade tensions with the US.

Ford and VW have been exploring closer cooperation as trade frictions force carmakers to rethink where they build vehicles for Europe, the United States and China, and as software companies prepare to launch their own self-driving cars.

So far the only potential alliance Ford and Volkswagen have confirmed involves commercial vehicles.

It will also review its operations in Russian Federation, and combine the headquarters of Ford UK and Ford Credit to a site in Dunton, Essex.

The Blue Oval says its made-in-Europe passenger auto range will have a "more targeted portfolio" concentrating on technology, its well-established "fun-to-drive DNA" and, of course, more crossovers.

He added that over the coming weeks Ford will share details on how it will restructure its global operations, including in South America and Europe. It lost 354 million pounds between April and September 2018.

Automakers are suffering from a major slide in sales of diesel cars.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is set to confirm plans to cut thousands of jobs - affecting roles including administration, marketing and management.

"This is not about making the business today more efficient but completely redesigning it", Ford's European president Steve Armstrong told the FT.

The company is unlikely to develop next-generation diesel engines for smaller vehicles, Armstrong said, explaining that customers have been abandoning the segment more aggressively than anticipated.

Armstrong said any Ford layoffs and plant closures would be subject to negotiations with labor representatives, and such plans did not account for the possibility of a "hard" exit by Britain from the European Union. Armstrong believes Ford will soon have "a significantly stronger and more focused product line-up" capable of delivering sustainable profits.

He said the scale of the restructuring assumed that Britain would leave the European Union as scheduled on March 29 with a negotiated deal defining trading relations.

"This is not a outcome of the Brexit situation", he said. "We have to know first what is going on".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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