Ford to Axe Less-Profitable Models in Europe, Cut Workforce

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Ford Europe announced a major overhaul of its operations that included the discontinuation of less-profitable models and the scaling back of its workforce. The move is expected to save the Blue Oval $200 million annually and is expected to give the brand “industry beating levels of efficiency.”

A report from Autocar states that the current-generation Ford Ka will be one of the models discontinued, but it will have a replacement that’s larger than the current model. The automaker will also put a greater emphasis on crossovers and SUVs as part of its strategy. Currently, Ford sells three crossovers and SUVs in Europe, the Ecosport, Edge, and Kuga (Escape in North America). Autocar also suggests that two crossovers will join Ford’s European lineup and will be based on the Fiesta and Focus respectively.

“In the past three years, Ford of Europe has improved its business in all areas and moved from deep losses to a $259 million (about £178m) profit in 2015. This is a good first step,” said Ford European boss Jim Farley. “We are absolutely committed to accelerating our transformation, taking the necessary actions to create a vibrant business that’s solidly profitable in both good times and down cycles. Our job is to make our vehicles as efficiently as possible, spending every dollar in a way that serves customers’ needs and desires, and creating a truly sustainable, customer-focused business.”

In 2016, Ford will launch seven new or refreshed vehicles, including the Ford Focus RS and a new Focus Electric, which is currently in development. The automaker will add 13 new electric vehicles to its European lineup by 2020. Offering all-wheel drive is also another way that Ford can grow in Europe as the automaker expects to sell around 140,000 all-wheel-drive vehicles in Europe this year.

Source: Autocar