A report on Monday by Germany’s IG Metall union has stated that Ford Motor Co. plans to cut up to 3,200 jobs across Europe, moving some product development work to the United States.
According to analysts, the layoffs may be due to the rising cost of electric battery materials. Inflation has pressured the automotive industry to cut expenses, particularly alongside projected slowdowns in the U.S. and the electronic vehicle price war launched by Tesla Inc earlier this month.
Ford’s job cuts will affect the 45,000 people in Europe employed by Ford, though reportedly the company has warned workers at its factory in Spain and its plant in Saarlouis, Germany of “significant” job cuts soon. Ford’s impending layoffs were also announced at its Cologne site last Monday, informing the 14,000 workers employed at the plant.
IG Metall, the dominant metalworkers’ union in Germany, has stated that they will join negotiations if the works council and Ford management cannot guarantee the future of workers.
"We will not hold back from measures that could seriously impact the company, not just in Germany but Europe-wide,” IG Metall said.
Regarding the layoffs, Ford’s spokesperson in Germany declined to comment. However, a spokesperson at the automaker’s headquarters in Michigan stated that the company needed to be “more competitive” as it transitioned to EV. No specific job plans and strategies were mentioned.
The company’s partnership with Volkswagen also hangs in the balance, as Ford partnered with the German carmaker to produce 1.2 million vehicles using Volkswagen’s MEB electric platform.
While Ford and Volkswagen representatives have confirmed that the partnership remains in place, a US spokesperson has added that Volkswagen’s role in Ford’s next generation of European electric vehicles is yet to be determined.