Ford Motor Co (F.N) is mulling to reduce up to 3,200 jobs across Europe and move some product development roles to the United States, according to Germany’s IG Metall union, as the American automobile manufacturer continues to slash its workforce in an attempt to adapt to a future with electric vehicles.
IG Metall, German’s largest union, representing more than 2.2 million workers in the automotive, electrical, and metal industries, on January 23 said, that it would take action against the carmaker if the job cuts go ahead.
According to analysts, the rising costs of electric vehicle battery materials and projected slowdowns in US and European economies have forced automakers to cut expenses. The EV price war launched by Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), earlier this month, has further intensified the pressure, analysts added.
The company plans to cut up to 2,500 jobs, which accounts for 65%, in product development and up to 700, which accounts for 20%, in administrative roles. The layoff will reportedly affect German locations the most. The sites in Belgium and the UK could also be affected by the job cuts.
Workers at Ford’s Cologne site, which employs about 14,000 workers, including 3,800 at a development center in the Merkenich area, were informed about the plans on January 23, at a work council meeting.
On being asked, Ford’s spokesperson in Germany declined to comment on the matter referring to a statement on Friday in which the company said that their decision to shift to production of electric vehicles (EVs) requires structural changes and that they would not say more about it until the plans are finalized.
Ford has been cutting jobs in Europe for years, with an aim to revamp its brand, sell fewer types of cars, and become more distinctive in a market that has become saturated with many similar types of electric vehicles.
Earlier in January, Ford announced that it plans to launch new vehicles in alliance with German carmaker Volkswagen, its old partner. The vehicles will depend on their own in-house technology rather than relying on their rival’s systems.
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