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Ford to Slash Up to 1,600 Jobs at Valencia Plant

TL;DR intro

  • Job Cuts:Ford plans to cut up to 1,600 jobs at its Valencia plant in Spain, following a previous reduction of 1,100 staff last year.
  • Potential Rehiring:The company is open to negotiating the possible rehiring of 1,000 jobs later as it boosts output from 2027 with a new hybrid passenger car.
  • Streamlining Operations:Ford aims to streamline operations and reduce costs as it transitions towards electric vehicle production.

U.S. carmaker Ford has announced plans to cut up to 1,600 jobs at its assembly plant in Valencia, Spain. This move comes after the company previously reduced its workforce by 1,100 employees at the same location last year. The decision is part of Ford's broader strategy to streamline operations and prepare for future production shifts.

Details of the Job Cuts

Ford, which employs about 4,700 workers at the Valencia plant, informed unions that it plans to permanently eliminate 600 jobs. However, the company is open to negotiating a temporary solution for the remaining 1,000 positions, with the possibility of rehiring these workers in the future. This negotiation aims to bridge the gap until production of a new vehicle starts in 2027.

"A temporary solution could be negotiated for (the other) 1,000 to bridge the time until production of the new vehicle starts," a Ford spokesperson in Spain said.

This is the second round of job cuts announced by Ford at the Valencia plant in two years. The company had previously unveiled a reduction plan in 2023, cutting 1,100 jobs. These layoffs are part of a larger effort to reduce costs and streamline operations as Ford pivots towards electric vehicle (EV) production.

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Future Production Plans

In May, Ford announced that it would begin producing a new hybrid passenger car at the Valencia plant starting in 2027. The company plans to produce 300,000 units of this new vehicle annually, targeting the European market and other regions. Currently, the Valencia plant assembles the Kuga compact sports utility vehicle, having scrapped other models in recent years.

Broader Cost-Cutting Measures

Ford's latest move in Spain is part of a broader cost-cutting strategy that includes layoffs in other regions as well. The company aims to cut approximately $3 billion in annual costs by tackling high warranty expenses and reducing complexity in business processes. This includes potential job cuts in its U.S. gas-engine business, EV and software divisions, and a reported 1,300 jobs in China.

"Part of the ongoing management of our business includes aligning our global staffing to meet future business plans, as well as staying cost competitive as our industry evolves," a Ford spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.

As the automotive industry continues to evolve towards electric vehicles, Ford's strategic workforce reductions aim to ensure competitiveness and sustainability in the long term. The company remains open to negotiating temporary solutions for affected employees, demonstrating a commitment to balancing cost-cutting measures with workforce considerations.

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