Ford may cut more European capacity if the market deteriorates further, CEO warns image

Ford Motor Company said it cannot rule out more European capacity cuts if the auto market in the region deteriorates further and increases losses from car plants that are underused.

According to Ford CEO Alan Mulally, the situation in Europe remains „very volatile”. “We don’t know whether it will stabilize or hit bottom or not because it’s continuing to decrease,” Mulally said on Wednesday at a conference in Berlin, two weeks after the company announced plans to cut 6,200 jobs and shut down three plants in the UK and Belgium.

The second-largest U.S. carmaker announced in October it will close a British van factory in Southampton and an associated stamping plant in 2013. It also said it will close a bigger plant in Genk, Belgium, from 2014. Currently Ford doesn’t have plans for further capacity cuts, but the company is monitoring the market and economic outlook in Europe very closely, Mulally said.

“That will determine what we do – if we do anything more. The most important thing is to match our production to the level of demand,” the CEO said. Ford’s restructuring in Europe is expected to generate savings of $500 million a year by 2015, when the carmaker wants to start making a profit in the region.