BUSINESS NEWS - US carmaker Ford said on Thursday that it plans a major restructuring of its European operations, including job cuts, to boost profitability.
The new strategy is aimed at cutting structural costs and redesigning the product lineup for commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles and imports, it said.
"We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe," Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president for Europe, Middle East and Africa said in a statement.
Ford did not specify the number of projected job cuts, but said it hoped to achieve them through voluntary redundancies.
"Structural cost improvements will be supported by reduction of surplus labour across all functions –- salaried and hourly," it said.
Among concrete steps in key markets Ford said it will end production of small automatic transmissions in Bordeaux, France.
In Germany, it plans to end production of the C-Max and Grand C-Max in Saarlouis in response to a shrinking market in Europe for compact multi-purpose vehicles.
In Russia, Ford said it will launch a strategic review of its joint venture Ford Sollers, with several restructuring options on the table.
Ford also plans to consolidate its UK headquarters and Ford Credit Europe's headquarters at the Ford Dunton Technical Center in South East Essex.
Ford employs around 53,000 people at its wholly-owned facilities in Europe - over a quarter of its worldwide total.
The company has been making cars in Europe since 1911.