Electric Vehicles

Ford Cuts Jobs to Focus on Electric Vehicles
A Ford production line in Izmit, Turkey. © Photo courtesy of OVKNHR / Shutterstock.com

Ford Cuts Jobs to Focus on Electric Vehicles

By Simon Johns - Jan 25, 2023

Ford Motor Co. will cut 3,200 jobs and sell a plant, as the company shifts toward electric vehicle production. The carmaker is courting China’s BYD to buy its Saarlouis plant in Cologne, Germany, where it produces the internal combustion engine Focus.

Ford’s last Focus will be made at Saarlouis in 2025. Ford is phasing out other ICE models in favor of passenger and light commercial EVs. EVs require 40% less labor to build, compared with an ICE vehicle, said Ford CEO Jim Farley in November.

“We have no comment on the current speculation about a possible restructuring at Ford in Europe. Ford remains committed and is currently accelerating its plans to build an all-electric portfolio of vehicles in Europe,” a company spokesperson said. “This transformation requires significant change in the way we develop, build and sell Ford vehicles, and will impact our organisational structure, talent and skills we will need in the future.”

>Read more about electric vehicles here.

By 2030 all new Ford passenger cars sold in Europe will be EVs. Commercial vehicles will follow suit five years later.

“In general, Ford is feeling the pinch of the lopsided transition to electric driving. They way the company is structured – its European subsidiary is more like an independent manufacturer – doesn’t help in such an environment, so EU-only models are being phased out. In the process of becoming a more streamlined organisation Ford is losing precious time on the BEV front,” Nick Augusteijn, an automotive journalist for Dutch online newspaper NU.nl, told Lubes’n’Greases.

In April 2022, Ford’s joint venture with Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding began production of the electric Transit light commercial van. Ford Otosan secured a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development of U.S. €200 million to “finance the company’s investment programme for upgrading its next generation of commercial vehicles including battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles,” according the EBRD. 

Ford was in talks with Korea’s SK for the two companies to build a battery plant in Turkey as well. The plan has since fallen through leaving LG to potentially step into the breech.