Ford of Europe will divest itself of 3,800 jobs over the next three years, the company said in an announcement today (14 February 2023).
The leaner organization is designed to help the car maker adapt to what is an increasingly competitive environment as demand for electric vehicles increases and competition from China intensifies the market.
By 2035, the automaker says it will have a totally electric fleet in Europe.
“We are completely reinventing the Ford brand in Europe. Unapologetically American, outstanding design and connected services that will differentiate Ford and delight our customers in Europe”, said Martin Sander, general manager of Ford Model e in Europe. “We are ready to compete and win in Europe. Our first European-built electric passenger vehicle is being introduced this spring and will surely turn heads.”
Demand for electric vehicles in Europe is certainly strong and growing. The industry body European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said 2022 registrations of new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) continued to grow, despite the overall decline of the EU car market with BEVs growing by 3% to take 12.1% market share.
The story was the same in the U.K., with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reporting 16.55% market share for BEVs, up from 11.58% in 2021.
EV competition heats up in Europe
The growth comes at a time when competition is becoming increasingly fierce as new Chinese entrants compete for market share.
Xpeng, for example, has just launched its G9 SUV into selected European markets with a price tag €10,000 below the BMW iX3 in Norway.* The company is betting its 800-volt architecture for ultrafast charging, extended 570 km (354 miles) range and upmarket interior will lure fleet buyers from premium European product, particularly at a time when fleet budgets are under pressure.
To meet these pressures, Ford of Europe said it would eliminate some 2,800 engineering jobs and some 1,000 administrative roles, warning “These are difficult decisions, not taken lightly.”
“We are committed to our customers in Europe. Ford is focused on delivering an exceptional customer ownership experience, with outstanding digital services and connectivity, ensuring their daily mobility needs are exceeded.”