How Ford Is Looking to Trim the Fat in 2019

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) has been facing a lot of pressure recently, especially considering its stock is down about 33% in the past 52 weeks. As a result, the U.S. automaker is looking to trim the fat where it can, and right now that looks to be Europe.

According to the firm, it is “accelerating key fitness actions and reducing structural costs.” In simpler terms, Ford is looking to cut jobs in Europe. The structural redesign also will include changes to Ford’s vehicle portfolio, expanding offerings and volumes in its most profitable growth vehicle segments, while improving or exiting less profitable vehicle lines and addressing underperforming markets.

The job cuts, or as Ford is calling them “structural cost improvements,” will be implemented across all functions, meaning salaried and hourly. An improvement in management structure, which was announced in December, is already underway through Ford’s redesign of its global salaried workforce.

Ford aims to achieve these labor cost reductions, as far as possible, through voluntary employee separations in Europe. The firm also said that it will be working closely with social partners and other stakeholders to achieve this objective.

Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president of the Europe, Middle East and Africa unit, added:

We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe. We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers.

Shares of Ford dropped more than 2% to $8.51 just after Thursday’s opening bell. The 52-week range is $7.41 to $13.48, and the consensus price target is $9.97.

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