Ford And Jaguar-Land Rover Ready To Slash Thousands Of Jobs In Europe

Europe is getting a double dose of bad news as Jaguar Land Rover is cutting jobs, while Ford of Europe has unveiled a new turnaround plan aimed at cutting costs.

Starting with the Blue Oval, Ford said it is working to implement a “comprehensive transformation strategy” which will see the company adjust its lineup to better meet consumer demand.  While the company didn’t go on an American-style killing spree, Ford said it will focus on profitable and growing vehicle segments, while eliminating products in less profitable areas.  This effectively means more crossovers and less MPVs.

As part of this effort, Ford reconfirmed it has begun discussions to end production of the C-Max and Grand C-Max at its plant in Saarlouis, Germany.  Ford also announced plans to crease production at its transmission plant in Bordeaux, France this August.

Besides these changes, Ford of Europe will cut costs by reducing the complexity of its existing lineup in an effort to focus on the “most profitable vehicle configurations.”  This means consumers can expect less choices in the future as options and trim levels will be streamlined.

Unsurprisingly, the focus on profitability also means jobs cuts.  Ford didn’t mention numbers, but said it wants to eliminate “surplus labor across all functions” including both salaried and hourly employees.  The company is aiming to do this through voluntary separations, as much as possible, but it’s likely a number of employees will lose their jobs involuntary.

As part of the restructuring, Ford of Europe will focus its business around three different pillars: commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles and imports such as the Mustang.  On the commercial vehicle side, Ford noted it is exploring a potential alliance with Volkswagen.

When it comes to passenger vehicles, Ford said drivers can expect “sporty and progressive designs” as well as an electrified option (mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or EV) on all future vehicles.

A lot of the action will take place on the import side as the Mustang-inspired electric crossover will arrive in Europe next year.  Ford also said Europeans can expect a new SUV to be unveiled in April.  There’s no word on what the mystery model is, but it could potentially be the baby Bronco.

Besides the aforementioned changes, Ford is undertaking a strategic review of its joint venture in Russia – Ford Sollers – and will consolidate its UK headquarters and Ford Credit Europe’s headquarters in South East Essex.

In a statement, Ford group vice president and president of EMEA region said “Working collectively with all stakeholders, our new strategy will enable us to deliver a more focused lineup of European-built passenger vehicles, while growing our import and commercial vehicle businesses – for a healthier and more profitable business.”

In related news, Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to cut up to 5,000 jobs in the United Kingdom.  This is expected to include a mix of both blue and white collar employees.

The news comes hot on the heels of disappointing sales figures as the automaker revealed the company only sold 592,708 vehicles last year.  Sales were down 4.6% compared to 2017 and this was largely due to a sluggish performance in China where sales dropped 21.6%.  The company also said “weaker market conditions, primarily relating to diesel and Brexit, also weighed on sales” as the numbers dropped 1.5% in the UK and 7.8% in Europe.

  • TheAmerican

    Or…. try making better cars!

  • rover10

    Jaguar and Landrover have not covered enough bases to weather economic downturns with the same strategies as the German premiums. I believe you need to supply a broad range of product, to establish a more resilient portfolio, when money begins to hold back. Both these companies have created an interesting range of vehicles, World class in many people’s minds. Supplying expensive vehicles when times are good is a no brainer however, underwriting the fragility of these products in financial downturns is the trick. A smaller Golf size Jaguar would possibly have been a greater success than the XE, that appears not to occupy the same sales territory as the BMW 3 series, and other similar sized German models? Likewise with Land Rover, a small compact SUV would have particular appeal in this growing segment.
    I always feared a range so targeted on the wealthy car buying market, could fall victim to financial fluctuations. So, it appears that panic measure will be required and lead to the release of too many talented people, which the two companies and the country can ill afford to waste.

    • StrangerGP

      There’s also a case of reliability with Jaguar and Land Rover.

      • rover10

        Though reliability is important however, overall vehicle planning is what I’m more concerned about. The XE was wrong from day one, and no amount of fiddling will resolve what is a dull looking car. If only they had concentrated on the Golf/Focus segment size, I’m convinced Jaguar would be in a better place right now. It ain’t rocket science just look what your closes competitors do and follow, it’s usually a winning formula.

        • TheBelltower

          Jaguar sedans have been a real problem for years. When I bought my second Range Rover (lemon) the salesman was excited to get a Jaguar SUV. The F-Pace was in the pipeline, but not yet in production. It was a problem because the average Jaguar buyer was in their 70s at the time, and often the car they were buying would be their last. Yikes! I’d agree that the XE is not the car that Jaguar needed.

          • rover10

            I’ve heard distant gunfire in regards to Land Rover reliability and you have just confirmed it, with your lemon! Jaguar have struggled with replacing their saloons, as they were limited in choice and embedded by Lions D&A,which went back decades. A conscious decision was made to completely break away from that mould and in many ways the current XJ did that, but failed to ignite its customers. The subsequent XF did move the needle, only for its successor to pull it back down again? As for the XE? However, just imagine if the new electric design had been offered first at Golf size, with conventional fossil engines, (plus an electric option) Jaguar would have had an absolute winner?

          • TheBelltower

            Don’t even get me started on the reliability of JLR vehicles. Though I will say, Range Rovers are definitely seductive. I’m not a fan of Jaguars crossover/SUV’s or sedans. They have a sexy sports car, but that won’t keep the lights on for any company. The only good design within Jaguar,IMHO, is the iPace. I believe that that would have been very successful if it were launched as a conventional ICE vehicle. Beyond an initial burst of excitement, I am not convinced it will be a competitive EV. It’s good looking, but the performance and feature-set doesn’t stand up to the competition.

  • Skitz

    Ford can burn in Hell along with good ole Henry!!

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