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Ford to slash thousands of jobs in major shake-up of European operations

Exact details are scant at the moment, but the carmaker is looking at ways to boost the performance of its flagging European operations
ford production plant
Jaguar Land Rover has also announced a raft of job cuts today

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is to have a major shake-up of its European operations which could lead to thousands of job losses across the continent.

The US carmaker has been struggling in Europe for several years and profits at Ford of Europe fell more than 80% last year, in part due to the fall in the value of the pound.

READ: Ford and GM stock climbs on report China to cut sales tax

Ford said decisions to be made on its operations are not because of the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Bosses did warn, though, that a further review of UK operations would be needed should the UK leave the EU without a deal.

Exact details are yet to be outlined and Ford, which sold almost 7mln cars around the world in 2017, said it would talk to unions about reducing costs.

It is thought that the company will stop manufacturing automatic transmissions at its plant in Bordeaux, France, and will review its operations in Russia.

Its Saarlouis plant in Germany could also be affected, with Ford reportedly looking at discontinuing production of its C-Max model.

British unions said they expect the impact of the cuts on UK workers to be limited.

‘Perfect storm’ sees Jaguar Land Rover cut workers

The news comes as Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to slash 5,000 jobs from its 40,000-strong UK workforce.

The layoffs are part of a £2.5bn cost-cutting plan as JLR battles a downturn in Chinese sales, a slump in demand for diesel-powered cars and concerns over UK competitiveness post-Brexit.

The company is particularly exposed to the first two points. China is its most profitable market but sales have halved in recent months as Chinese buyers hold back on big-ticket purchases amid the global trade tensions.

It is also one of the most heavily-exposed carmakers to the declining demand for diesel cars in the wake of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal.

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