The second largest US automaker is not doing so well in Europe, even as the recovery is finally showing up its face across the region.
Now, Ford Romania, which has a plant in Craiova that produces the B-Max minivan and the awarded EcoBoost engines, has announced its plans to lower it personnel count there. The factory’s management has announced that it plans to lower its employee workforce by around 680 places – amounting to around 23% of the total. While the company has shown the reduction as part of a strategy of volunteer retirements, the management also said that if the headcount were still below the proposed target it would also fire people on economic grounds.
The measures seem really harsh, but we should remember that during the latest investor conference call, Ford’s chief executive officer, Mark Fields, acknowledged that the European business is no moving forward as planned – with the target to stop losses in 2015 now postponed. He also swaped Stephen Odell, Ford’s regional chief for the EMEA region with Jim Farley, formerly the global head of marketing, sales and services.
Back in Romania, the Craiova factory has been beleaguered by production stoppages s demand for the B-Max minivan has dropped significantly – following the regional trend that sees crossovers preferred now.