Ford to cut 300 jobs in Australia image

As the second largest US automaker approaches the 2016 deadline of closing Australian car production lines, the company has already started cutting back on the work force – and production by almost a third – due to low demand.

The job cuts, due in June are now spurring growing concern that the automaker may hasten its Australian leave, earlier than the planned 2016 time table. Ford announced last year it would shut down both its Australian plants because of high costs and a strong currency that dents profit.

“We are continuing to match production with demand and that will mean we are reducing production by about a third in June with related job losses,” company spokesman Wes Sherwood told reporters, citing lowering sales. “We’ll continue to work with the teams to get into the exact details but it will be about 300,” he added.

“I personally would not be surprised if we see a quicker slowdown or reduction than was first envisaged,” Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce executive director David Purchase told local media.

Sherwood also gave assurance that Ford is sticking to its announced retirement plan and production will not be stopped earlier. With the lower production, Ford will reach a model output of around 80 cars per day (of the Falcon and Territory variety), down from around 133 units today.

Via Reuters, Bloomberg