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Ford says to slash 12,000 jobs in all across Europe

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Frankfurt am Main (AFP)

US carmaker Ford said Thursday that it plans to slash a total of 12,000 jobs across Europe as part of a previously announced restructuring.

The overall figure includes 5,400 layoffs already announced in Germany and 1,700 in Wales.

The move comes as the company closes or sells six plants in Britain, France, Russia and Slovakia this year and next.

The job cuts will come "primarily through voluntary separation programmes", said Ford, which employs around 51,000 people and operates 24 factories around Europe.

As well as the factory closure in Wales, three sites in Russia, one in Slovakia and one in France will be shuttered.

Thursday is the first time Ford has publicly stated the jobs impact of its plans.

Group chief executive Jim Hackett announced last autumn a massive restructuring of the American firm, aiming to save $11 billion and turn Ford into a more "agile" group with faster decision-making processes.

The company aims to catch up with the world leaders in the industry's transformation towards autonomous and electric-powered driving, as well as services like car-sharing and ride-sharing.

Ford says that "financial results in Europe are on track to significantly improve for full year 2019", adding that in future it will refocus on electric mobility.

Its European operations will be reorganised into three divisions: commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, and imports.

"This could be the first step towards a complete or partial sale" of Ford's car business in Europe, industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer of the University of Duisburg-Essen's CAR institute told AFP.

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