Ford's Middle East job cuts still 'ongoing' as carmaker aims to save $600m globally

American carmaker is planning to cut 10% of staff around the world
Ford's Middle East job cuts still 'ongoing' as carmaker aims to save $600m globally
Ford chief executive officer Jim Hackett
By Shane McGinley
Tue 21 May 2019 08:47 AM

Ford Motor Co will today start implementing plans lay off 10 percent of its global workforce, in a bid to cut costs by around $600 million annually, but it is not clear yet how this will fully impact its Middle Eastern operations.

Ford chief executive officer Jim Hackett told employees in an email on Monday that the layoffs would be carried out as voluntary buyouts and layoffs, media outlets reported.

“To succeed in our competitive industry, and position Ford to win in a fast-changing future, we must reduce bureaucracy, empower managers, speed decision making, focus on the most valuable work and cut costs,” Hackett said in the email, according to Reuters.

The restructuring aims to shed about a tenth of Ford’s global salaried workforce, or around 7,000 staff, and the redundancy process is expected to start on Tuesday, May 21, according to Hackett’s email.

The CEO’s email said the restructuring would see a 20 percent reduction in upper-level managers. Ford currently has around 14 managerial levels within the company and the restricting aims to reduce this to nine by the end of 2019, Hackett said.

It is not yet clear how the restructuring will impact Ford’s operations in the Middle East

“The redesign of our salaried workforce is a global exercise. We are not providing numbers by country as the work is still ongoing,” a spokesperson from Ford Middle East told Arabian Business in a statement.

Ford has been present in the Middle East for nearly 60 years. According to the Michigan-headquartered carmaker’s recent press releases, its local importer-dealers operate more than 155 facilities in the region and directly employ more than 7,000 people. The company operates the Ford and Lincoln brands in the Middle East.

Ford’s dealer in the United Arab Emirates – Al Tayer Motors – opened the world’s largest Lincoln showroom in Dubai in March. It comes as it was reported that the Lincoln brand reported a 47 percent year-on-year increase in sales in the Middle East in the first quarter of 2019, with sales up 33 percent in the UAE and 82 percent in Kuwait.

Overall, Ford reported that global net income fell 34 percent to $1.15 billion during the first quarter of 2019, as revenue fell 4 percent to $40.3 billion. While sales improved in North America, China, the Middle East and Africa, numbers were down in Europe, South America and the rest of Asia Pacific, it was reported in April.

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