Ford plans ‘comprehensive transformation strategy’

Ford is planning to launch what it calls a ‘comprehensive transformation strategy’ in Europe intended to cut costs and better position the company for the future.

The strategy – which is part of the company’s broader global vision of providing smart vehicles for a smart world – will offer differentiated vehicles designed to create a deeper connection with Ford customers.

Near term, Ford will reduce structural costs and, in parallel, change its 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.

Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said, ‘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.’

To improve near-term financial performance, Ford will drive improvement in profitability across its product portfolio. This improvement will be driven by reducing the complexity of existing Ford products, optimising the most profitable vehicle configurations, and increasing volumes of profitable vehicle lines.

Structural cost improvements will be supported by reduction of surplus labour across all functions – salaried and hourly. An improvement in management structure, announced in December, already is underway through Ford’s redesign of its global salaried workforce, that will improve the agility of the organisation.

Ford aims to achieve the labour cost reductions, as far as possible, through voluntary employee separations in Europe and will be working closely with social partners and other stakeholders to achieve this objective.

Meanwhile, Ford is establishing three customer-focused business groups in Europe – Commercial Vehicles, Passenger Vehicles, and Imports, while every Ford nameplate from the all-new Ford Focus onwards will include an electrified option. This includes new nameplates and new versions of existing vehicles. From Fiesta to Transit, either a mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full battery electric option will be offered, delivering one of the most encompassing line-ups of electrified options for European customers.

Ford also will build on its success in the growing utility segment in Europe. Ford SUV sales.

Steven said, ‘Working collectively with all stakeholders, our new strategy will enable us to deliver a more focused line up of European-built passenger vehicles, while growing our import and commercial vehicle businesses – for a healthier and more profitable business.’