Ford to cut jobs to save $200m in Europe

Ford plant Image copyright Getty Images

US car giant Ford has announced plans to cut jobs and save $200m (£138m) a year in Europe.

The carmaker said it was launching a voluntary redundancy programme and improving manufacturing efficiencies.

It also said it would focus on its most profitable models, such as sports utility vehicles (SUVs).

Ford Europe returned to profit for the first time in four years in 2015, as the parent group recorded record profits of $10.8bn.

This represented a "good first step", said Ford Europe executive vice-president Jim Farley.

"We are absolutely committed to accelerating our transformation, taking the necessary actions to create a vibrant business that is solidly profitable in both good times and down cycles."

The jobs are likely to go at Ford's main European centres in the UK and Germany, said the BBC's employment and industry correspondent, John Moylan.

"It is thought the jobs will be in administration, sales and marketing type functions and not at car or engine production plants," he added.

The carmaker also said it would be launching seven new or redesigned vehicles this year, including a Focus RS and new Kuga and Edge SUVs.

Ford Europe has closed a number of plants as it struggles to turn around heavy losses. Last year, the company made an operating profit of $259m in Europe, compared with a loss of $598m in 2014.

Ford currently employs 13,890 people in the UK.

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