General Motors no longer does volume business on the old continent, and it appears rival Ford is ready to make some serious changes of its own. The Times (subscription required) reported Sunday Ford is preparing for an $11-billion restructuring effort and both cars and employees are on the chopping block.
GM Europe remained in the red for well over a decade, but Ford’s troubles are more recent. The automaker enjoyed several years of profits after losing money from 2010 to 2014. But, 2017 saw profits drop and 2018 is looking worse for the Blue Oval. Thus, the Ford Mondeo mid-size sedan, the S-Max and the Galaxy are reportedly heading toward the end of life in Europe.
The car cull likely won’t be as dramatic as Ford’s doing in North America, though. The automaker will only sell the Mustang; every other vehicle will be a crossover, SUV, or truck filling out dealership lots.
As for employees, the report claimed Ford is prepared to slash 12 percent of its global workforce, which tallies over 200,000 individuals. Europe is rumored to bear the most casualties. Yet, a wildcard remains, according to The Times.
In a somewhat similar move to GM Europe, Ford may seek out a rival automaker to form a joint venture in an effort to decrease development and production costs. GM once partnered with PSA Group to share production and development of some models, but eventually, the automaker dissolved the relationship. As we’re all aware, PSA Group then surfaced as Opel and Vauxhall’s buyer.
While it’s unlikely we’ll ever see GM return to Europe in a traditional sense, the automaker has left the door open. After spending billions to finance the sale of Opel and Vauxhall, GM CEO Mary Barra said she’d “absolutely” consider reentering Europe. But, she referred to “transformative” new products—likely self-driving cars and perhaps ride-sharing services in the future.