In Europe, Ford is aiming to go all-electric in its passenger vehicle lineup by 2030 and produce 600k EVs annually by 2026. As such, it has already discontinued the Ford Fiesta and Focus, and is adding seven new all-electric models in that region by 2024, a list that includes two new crossovers riding on Volkswagen’s MEB platform – one of which may be called the Explorer Sport – though it also excludes entry-level models of any sort. However, there is one particular downside that comes with this transition – EVs don’t require as much labor to produce as ICE vehicles, which is precisely why Ford will reportedly cut over 1,000 jobs at the Cologne Assembly plant, according to the German publication Automobilwoche, as reported by Reuters.
According to the report, FoMoCo has called for a meeting at its Cologne plant, which currently employs 14,000 people. However, the automaker is not commenting on the matter yet. “We have no comment on the current speculation about a possible restructuring at Ford in Europe,” a company spokesperson said in a written statement. “The transformation [to an all-electric portfolio] requires significant change in the way we develop, build, and sell Ford vehicles, and will impact our organizational structure, talent and skills we will need in the future. More details will be shared once our plans are final and we have informed our employees first.”
Ford is in the midst of investing $2 billion in its Cologne Assembly plant as it transitions to the Cologne Electrification Center for the production of all-electric vehicles. Currently, the plant still builds the Fiesta as well, but will cease to do so now that the model has been discontinued.
Moving forward, the Cologne plant will produce both of the aforementioned MEB-based crossovers, along with the forthcoming Puma EV. Ford also recently opened a new electric motor research site at the nearby Cologne-Niehl engine plant that will develop hairpin stators – one of the key components used in future electric motors.