Ford Motor Company wants to eliminate 3,200 positions throughout Europe and relocate some product development work to the United States.
This was according to the German IG Metall union, which threatened to take action against the automaker on the continent if the job cutbacks proceed.
Automakers are under pressure to cut expenses as a result of the rising costs for electric vehicle battery materials and estimated lag in U.S. and European economies. This pressure has increased, Analysts say, as a result of the EV price war started by Tesla Inc earlier this month.
According to IG Metall, the business plans to eliminate up to 2,500 positions in product development and up to 700 positions in administrative roles, with German locations being the most severely impacted.
At works council meetings on Monday, employees at the American automaker’s Cologne facility, which has around 14,000 employees, including 3,800 at a development centre in the Merkenich district, were informed of the plans.
However, Ford’s spokesperson in Germany has refused to make any comment. Referring to a statement made on Friday, it was stated that structural adjustments are necessary for the manufacture of electric cars (EVs), and that more information would not be released until those plans are finalised.
Based on what a spokesperson at the carmaker’s headquarters in Michigan said, the dialogue with German works councils continues.
In addition, ”the company needs to be more competitive as it transitions to EVs.” He would not comment on specific job plans.
Meanwhile, for the first nine months of 2022, Ford’s pretax profit margins in Europe were 2.2% of sales, far lower than those in North America. In October, it also issued a warning about Europe’s weakening economy.
“If negotiations between the works council and management in coming weeks do not ensure the future of workers, we will join the process,” IG Metall added.
“We will not hold back from measures that could seriously impact the company, not just in Germany but Europe-wide.”