After returning to profit in Europe, Ford plans to keep the trend by cutting hundreds of jobs in the region to achieve substantial cost savings.
Ford intends to trim jobs in Europe to reduce expenses by around 200 million dollars annually. The company’s plan is to keep being profitable on the long-term and also to update its lineup for backing up the upward sales trend in Europe. The continent returned cash for the first time last year since 2011, Ford reporting a full-year profit of 259 million dollars in 2015. The automaker’s European branch aims to cut the number of its employees through voluntary moves, offering staff early retirement bonuses and other compensations related to these measures, Jim Farley, head of the carmaker’s European business told Reuters. “We want to make sure we have that stable footing so we can build a viable business in the future,” he said, citing a longer-term operating margin target of between 6 and 8 percent.
Ford’s European operations have been steadily growing in recent years. The company sold a total of 1.3 million vehicles in its 20 traditional European markets last year, where it is represented through National Sales Companies. Across all 50 European countries, the automaker delivered 1.5 million units, up 10 percent, driving Ford’s market share up by 0.5 percentage points to 7.7 percent. The Fiesta was the No.1 selling small car in Europe again last year, making it the top-selling of the segment in Europe for the fourth year running, according to data analyzed by JATO Dynamics. Ford also became Europe’s No.1 top selling commercial vehicle brand, for the first time in 18 years, growth driven by the latest Transit family, which accounted for 233,000 vehicles in 2015 from the total 280,000 of commercial vehicles sold by Ford last year. At the same time, the Ranger model overtook its segment rivals to become the most wanted pickup in the region, with total sales of 27,300 units, up by 27 percent compared with 2014.