Ford Motor Co. of Europe could further downsize its production capacity and might "repurpose" factories as it refocuses its business to concentrate on light commercial vans and profitable car lines.
Ford's European arm has already undergone a two-year restructuring program that saw it shutter or sell five plants including three in Russia, reduce production shifts in its remaining factories and cut 20 percent of its workforce in a bid to reverse years of financial losses.
"The restructuring program was very significant," Ford of Europe President Stuart Rowley told Automotive News Europe in an interview. "But the next phase of the transformation, however, is going to require further action that could mean rescaling or repurposing facilities or other changes."
Ford rival Renault is planning similar steps to help reduce excess capacity while retaining jobs. Renault said in November that it will convert its factory in Flins, France, into a facility for recycling, retrofitting and research.
Rowley said Ford of Europe could exit certain passenger car segments as part of its plan to sell only battery-powered cars in Europe, which means that it will drop gasoline and diesel passenger cars including hybrids by 2030.
"We will choose segments where there is consumer demand, growth and where we can be profitable," Rowley said. "We will not necessarily try to be all things to all men or women in the future."
The move toward electrification has forced Ford to reconsider its network engine and transmissions factories.
Last year production ended at Ford's engine plant in Bridgend, Wales, while Ford and Magna International Inc. agreed to end their joint transmission production venture (formerly Getrag-Ford) on March 1.
Ford has taken control of transmission plants in Halewood, England, and Cologne, Germany, while Magna has control over a transmission plant in Bordeaux, France.