Business News Asia
Ford Motor Co. is facing backlash from German labor unions as plans to lay off up to 3,200 jobs across Europe and shift some of its product development jobs to the United States have come to light. IG Metall, the union of German metal producers, announced that it would disrupt Ford’s operations across Europe if the dismissal continues.
According to analysts, rising costs of electric vehicle battery materials and the expected slowdown in the US and European economies have added pressure on automakers to cut costs. Furthermore, the electric car price war started by Tesla Inc. earlier this month has added even more pressure.
IG Metall stated that Ford is looking to lay off up to 2,500 product development and 700 administrative staff, with jobs in Germany being the hardest hit. At a meeting of the labor council on Monday, workers at Ford’s Cologne plant, which employs about 14,000 workers and 3,800 at the development center in Merköni, were notified of the layoff plan.
This move comes as a surprise as last year Ford announced a $2 billion investment to expand production at its Cologne plant to produce all models of electric cars for the large market. Currently, the plant produces Ford Fiesta cars, including engines, transmission systems, and gear systems.