Car firm refutes job cuts rumour

A Ford spokesman has poured cold water on speculation that the company is planning to cut its workforce in Europe by 10 per cent a year.

David Thursfield, president of Ford of Europe, was reported in the Financial Times on Monday (18 December) as saying he would like to see a 10 per cent reduction in the workforce as part of a huge cost-cutting exercise.

The article, which also highlighted fears that Ford Europe could report a £680m loss this year, stated that consultants hired to review Ford’s production systems have told the company that its head count was 20 to 25 per cent too high.

But Simon Warr, head of global news for Ford of Europe, told that Mr Thursfield had been referring to total cost reductions and not the workforce.

Warr said, “We have announced plans to cut costs by 10 per cent a year. That includes distribution costs, supply costs and efficiency gains through joint ventures.”

He said that no announcement on job cuts had been made since May when Ford revealed plans to end production at Dagenham with the loss of 1,350 jobs.

He added, “We have not been able to establish what consultants are being referred to in the article.”

Financial Times journalist Tim Burt, who interviewed Mr Thursfield, defended his story and said the Ford boss had been referring to cutting the workforce by 10 per cent a year, and not costs.

By Ben Willmott

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