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Ford plans to cut hundreds of jobs in Europe

Car manufacturing giant Ford has announced plans to cut hundreds of jobs across its European operations.

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Ford's European unit has around 10,300 salaried employees.

Car manufacturing giant Ford (NYSE:F) has announced plans to cut hundreds of jobs across its European operations as it looks to save $200mln a year.

The US car maker seeks to sustain growth impetus and build on its first annual profit in Europe for five years after losses of $4.5bln between 2011 and 2014.

The regional unit has around 10,300 salaried employees, hundreds of which will be affected by the cuts.

Ford is offering voluntary redundancy packages to its white-collar workers.

“We have to accelerate our work to become leaner and make tougher choices about where we compete.” said Jim Farley, head of Ford’s Europe, Middle-East and Africa division.

Ford also plans to phase out less successful product lines and focus on profitable niches such as vans and sports utility vehicles.

The manufacturer’s passenger car sales grew 8.6% in Europe last year to just under 1mln units, placing it just behind Volkswagen as the region’s biggest passenger vehicle brand.

Its revamped Transit models, however, took the lead in European commercial vehicle sales for the first time in 18 years.

Europe accounts for approximately one fifth of group-wide revenues. Ford, along with other volume car makers, was badly hit in the years following the financial crisis as the European market contracted for six consecutive years.

Ford shares, which are listed in New York, dropped 4% US$11.05.

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