Springfield News-Sun

Ford to cut 1,100 jobs in Spain after other European layoffs

- By Jennifer O’mahony

MADRID — Ford Motor Co. announced Friday it will cut around 1,100 jobs at its plant in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia.

The cuts are in addition to the 2,300 layoffs largely in Germany and the United Kingdom that the automaker announced last month as part of a “leaner, more competitiv­e cost structure in Europe.”

Ford Spain said in a statement that it notified unions Friday of what it described as “a profound restructur­ing of its operations.” Ford has recently championed the Valencia plant as its preferred site to assemble “next-generation” electric vehicles on the continent.

José Luis Parra Navarro, a UGT union spokesman, said the workforce would become “surplus” when the plant switched to making electric cars because the work “requires less labor.”

The plant is Ford’s only such facility in Spain and currently employs 5,400.

The job cuts were “mainly due to the already announced discontinu­ing production of the S-max and Galaxy models in April 2023,” Ford Spain said in an email.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based company has a strategy to offer an all-electric fleet in Europe by 2035 and says production of its first European-built electric car is expected to start later this year.

The job cuts come amid a sea change in the global auto industry from gas-guzzling combustion engines to electric vehicles. Government­s are pushing to reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change, and a resulting race to develop electric vehicles has generated intense competitio­n among automakers.

In January, Ford announced a new solar power plant had opened at the Valencia facility as it looks to become a carbon-neutral business.

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