FRANKFURT -- Hard-pressed U.S. carmaker Ford Motor Co. intends to cut 2,600 staff in Europe by year's end as part of its plan to reduce global head count by more than 10,000 workers, a German newspaper reported on Thursday.
Ford will cut some 1,300 staff in Germany alone at its local headquarters in Cologne and at its Saarlouis plant, the Cologne-based newspaper Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger said, citing company officials.
A Ford Europe spokesman declined to comment on the number, but said the U.S. carmaker had a number of job reduction programs under way to help bring costs down.
"We hope to achieve the reductions through voluntary programs. But if we can't reach the numbers through that we don't rule out involuntary measures," he said.
Several European carmakers are in the process of cutting staff to sharpen their competitive edge amid sluggish sales, a strong euro and high raw material prices.
Ford CFO Don Leclair told a conference call after third-quarter results that Ford had taken a number of personnel steps that, combined with natural attrition, would chop head count this year by more than 10,000 people versus the end of 2004.
Ford Europe employs around 68,000 staff including some joint ventures but excluding its Premier Automotive Group of luxury brands. Ford said with third-quarter results that it planned more job cuts in North America, Europe and at PAG.