Cost-cutting necessary to safeguard future, says Ford boss
16 March 2009

Ford is to switch some of its European manufacturing operations as it bids to cut costs - and it has warned that further dramatic changes may be necessary to survive the current economic crisis.

The changes announced today will primarily affect Ford's plants in Germany, Spain and Romania.

"Cutting capacity, reducing costs and safeguarding our future product plans are essential actions for Ford of Europe to sustain a viable business for the future," said John Fleming, Ford of Europe Chairman and CEO.

"We have already taken a number of actions but, as the market has continued to weaken substantially, we are now taking additional necessary actions.

"Ford of Europe must return to sustainable profitability as soon as possible. We will do whatever it takes to ensure the continuing viability of our business, and further actions can be expected," he added.

Ford sales in Europe were down 15.5 per cent year-on-year in the first two months of 2009.

At the Valencia plant in Spain, the changes include:

  • Cutting work schedules from three to two shifts a day, from 1 May. Ford also says it is continuing to talk to workers about ways of reducing "surplus labour".
  • The plant will continue to build the Fiesta, but the Focus production line will be replaced by the next-generation C-Max model, due in 2010.
  • From later this year, the plant will also produce a new 2.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine
  • At the Saarlouis plant in Germany, the changes include:

  • Continuing with reduced hours for workers. For most, thsi means a four-day week.
  • Preparing the plant for building all derivatives of the next-generation Ford Focus, which is expected to go on sale in 2011
  • The current production lines for the Ford Kuga and C-Max will not be replaced when the models go off sale
  • The Craiova engine plant in Romania will also share development of a new petrol EcoBoost engine with the Cologne engine plant.

    Ford has also said that it is considering moving the manufacturing of a Focus derivative to another, existing plant to push it closer to capacity.

    Add your comment

    Log in or register to post comments

    Find an Autocar car review

    Driven this week

    • Dallara Stradale
      The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
      First Drive
      16 March 2018
      The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
    • Hyundai i30 N
      Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
      First Drive
      16 March 2018
      What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
    • Porsche Boxster GTS
      This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
      First Drive
      15 March 2018
      The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
    • BMW 5 Series
      First Drive
      15 March 2018
      The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
    • Audi A7 front
      First Drive
      14 March 2018
      The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out