Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Tuesday 25th September, 2012
Automotive powerhouse Ford has announced plans to cut “several hundred jobs” in Europe after falling sales.
Although there are fears that many UK jobs are under threat, the American company, which has a plant in Swaythling that builds the world renowned Transit van, said it had not yet decided where the axe will fall.
The car maker, which employs 12,000 people in the UK and also has plants in Halewood and Dagenham, said the details won’t be known for “a few months.”
The deteriorating predicament for the industry was underlined in July, when Ford's estimate for its European losses rose to more than $1bn from between $500m and $600m. As a result, Ford is considering three job cutting programmes in Germany, the UK and the rest of Europe.
The company has said it wants to adapt production to shrinking demand.
Ford car sales have dropped 12% in Europe over the last 12 months according to an industry group, and by 29% in the last full month - August 2012.
Alan Mulally, Ford's chief executive, said in July that European demand is "not going to come back fast".
The German market has been hit hardest in recent times due to cost-cutting undertaken by the big US car companies in Europe. This is emphasised by the likelihood of General Motors closing its plant in the German town of Bochum, rather than one of its two plants in the UK. However, GM's UK factories, in Luton and Ellesmere Port, near Liverpool, are temporarily closed this week due to a decrease in demand across the continent.