Ford cutting 100s of jobs in the UK and Germany

The Ford Edge (pictured) leads the American firm's increasing focus on SUVs

Ford is aiming to saving US$200 million a year by reducing the number of sales marketing and administration jobs its supports in Europe. To achieve this Ford will offer a voluntary redundancy scheme to the 10,300 salaried workers it employs in Europe, according to Reuters. The deal is likely to include severance pay and early retirement, Jim Farley, head of Ford Europe told journalists. The BBC reports that this is likely to equate to hundreds of job losses in the UK and Germany.

Ford reported profits of $259 million in Europe in 2015, its first since 2011. Vehicle sales growth of 10 per cent in the last year is likely to have helped.

The manufacturer closed its auto-assembly plant in Genk, Belgium, in 2014 after closing its stamping plant in Dagenham the van factory in Southampton 12 months before that.

Ford increases SUV focus

The US-based OEM also reported that it will increase its range SUVs at the expense of less profitable models in Europe with a view to improving its current operating margin of around 1 per cent in the direction of a 6-8 per cent margin.

In the US, SUV sales are becoming something of a speciality for Ford. Stateside Ford reported industry-leading transaction price increases in January and the best start since 2004 for Ford brand SUV sales in particular.

“For Ford, overall transaction prices were up $1,800 in January – almost three times more than the overall industry average – driven largely by strong customer demand, especially for our SUVs and F-Series pickups,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, US marketing, sales and service.

In January Ford sold 50,212 in the US, a 3 percent increase versus a year ago. The all-new Edge was the biggest driver, posting a 26 per cent jump on sales of 9,533 vehicles.

During the same period Transit sales increased 51 per cent with 9,631 vehicles sold, lifting overall Ford van performance 20 per cent the van segment’s best start since 1985.

F-Series January sales totalled 51,540 vehicles, down 5 per cent. F-Series average transaction pricing grew $2,500 last month, while incentive spending was down $500 versus a year ago.

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