Ford to cut nearly 4,000 jobs in Europe, including 1,300 in UK

The British car industry faces the prospect of further steep job cuts without urgent government support for electric vehicle investment, a union leader has warned, after Ford revealed 1,300 UK redundancies in its internal combustion operations.
The US carmaker said it planned to eliminate 3,800 product development and administration jobs across Europe, citing rising costs and the need to speed up its switch from petrol and diesel engines to electric vehicles.
Ford has said it would invest $50bn (£41bn) in electric car production by 2026. However, it must also decide what to do with operations built around the internal combustion engine before bans on sales of new petrol and diesel cars.
The Unite union, which represents many of the affected UK workers, said Ford’s move highlighted the risks to thousands of British car industry jobs working on internal combustion technology. About 100,000 UK automotive jobs are linked to petrol and diesel technology, according to the government-backed Faraday Institution.
Ford said about 2,300 jobs will be cut in Germany, 1,300 in the UK and 200 in the rest of Europe, adding that it intends to achieve the reductions through voluntary redundancies. Some 2,800 of the jobs will be engineering roles, while another 1,000 will be administrative jobs. Ford employs about 34,000 people in Europe, of which about 6,500 are in the UK.
Most of the UK job losses are expected to be in Ford’s technical centre in Dunton, Essex, which is in charge of developing the Transit van. Transit diesel sales are expected to continue for several years longer than cars with internal combustion engines, but there will be little need for design work on diesel engines once the last European emissions standards are met in time for a 2025 deadline.
Des Quinn, Unite’s national officer for automotive, said the move to cut UK jobs linked to internal combustion was not a surprise, but said a “zombie government” had no apparent plan to attract investment in electric car production to replace those jobs.
“We’ve been crying out for an industrial strategy,” he said. “There is no plan for greening the car industry.
“Going electric you don’t need internal combustion engines. You don’t need people designing internal combustion engines. There is going to be more and more of this. Ford happens to be quick off the blocks.”
Ford aims to retain 3,400 engineers in Europe who will build on core technology provided by their US counterparts and adapt it to European customers, according to Martin Sander, the general manager of Ford’s European electric vehicle (EV) operations and head of its German business.
“There is significantly less work to be done on drivetrains moving out of combustion engines,” Sander said. “We are moving into a world with less global platforms where less engineering work is necessary. This is why we have to make the adjustments.
Ford’s UK manufacturing operations are not thought to be affected by Tuesday’s announcement, although they have previously been on the frontline of the transition. In December Ford expanded a £350m plan to upgrade a gearbox plant in Halewood, Merseyside, to produce drive units for electric cars – a welcome boost for British industry. However, it also closed its engine plant in Bridgend in south Wales in 2020. There remain long-term questions over the future of a diesel engine factory in Dagenham, in Essex.
The UK has so far had mixed results during the electric car transition. Honda closed its Swindon car factory in 2021, and BMW is planning to move production of the electric Mini out of Oxford to China, while startup Britishvolt’s government-supported effort to build a battery “gigafactory” collapsed into administration earlier this month.
However, Stellantis is upgrading its Vauxhall factory at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire to produce electric vans, and Nissan is planning a large expansion of electric vehicle production in Sunderland.

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