Ford today announced plant closings and job cuts will happen in European operations. Ford has 50,000 hourly and salaried employees in Europe and is not saying specifically the number of job cuts and where.
Auto Analyst John McElroy says this was expected, “It’s a big move. Clearly we’re seeing the very beginnings of a huge transformation of the automotive industry.”
McElroy also says this may mean Ford won’t be making cuts in the U. S.
“I think this is going to be mostly it," he says. "They may need other adjustments going forward. But I think this is most of the bad news is now going to be behind us.”
There’s growing speculation that Ford will partner with Volkswagen and share technology.
McElroy points out, they were partners in the 1980s, “They had a joint venture in South American that they called Auto Latina. In fact there were even rumors at the time they were looking at doing something like that in Europe call it Auto Europa.”
So why now?
McElroy continues, “Volkswagen has an architecture for electric cars that everybody says is a pretty swell deal. Conversely Ford is really out in front of Volkswagen when it comes to autonomous technology. And Volkswagen may decide hey why don’t we just get in bed with Ford here and license their technology.”
Many believe Ford will announce this partnership at the Detroit Auto Show next week.