European division has been experiencing financial difficulties for years, and now the Blue Oval is getting serious about staunching the outward flow of cash there.
Part of Ford's grand plan to turn Ford Europe around is to cut 5,000 jobs from its various facilities in Germany, plus an unspecified amount of jobs in the UK, Automotive News reports. By US auto industry standards, 5,000 jobs isn't too big of a drop in the bucket, but since Ford Europe only employs around 53,000 people, that represents a cut of nearly 10 percent and that's not exactly small potatoes.
In addition to cutting jobs, Ford plans to pull itself out of various market segments, close plants and discontinue models that aren't generating much profit. This looks like a similar tactic to what the automaker has pledged to do in the US by discontinuing nearly all of its car models in favor of
All these job cuts and other austerity measures would sting under normal circumstances, but Automotive News separately reported that Ford CEO Jim Hackett took home $17.75 million in his first year on the job, up from $16.7 million in 2017, and it wasn't even that great of a year for the company. The median Ford employee income (apart from the CEO) was just over $64,000 last year, as a comparison.
Ford hopes that the result of all this European belt-tightening is a steady 6 percent operating margin. That's still pretty slim, but it's likely at least enough to keep the lights on. Things in the UK -- aka Ford Europe's biggest market -- are a little more up in the air with the looming threat of Brexit. The company wants to trim operations there as well, but it's unclear at this time by how much.
Ford representatives didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.