BERLIN— Ford Motor Co. has launched talks with trade unions in Europe about job cuts that could run into the thousands as it shuts European plants and cancels production of unprofitable models in response to a storm of bad news for global car makers.
The move is the latest sign that waning demand and weaker profits in Europe, amid concerns around Brexit, trade, the gradual death of diesel engines and an economic slowdown in China, are forcing auto manufacturers to aggressively prune their businesses after years of steady growth.
“We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe,” Steven Armstrong, the company’s
president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, said Thursday.
The company added that “structural cost improvements would be supported by [a] reduction of surplus labor across all functions—salaried and hourly.” It didn’t quantify the planned job cuts. pending negotiations with European trade unions and governments.
The news comes as Jaguar Land Rover, the British premium car maker, is expected to announce up to 5,000 job cuts as it restructures in the wake of weaker demand in China and a dramatic decline in diesel vehicle sales in Europe.
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