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Ford hints at job cuts outside US

Ford is refusing to comment on speculation that a review of staffing levels outside the US will lead to job cuts in the UK.

The fears are set against the backdrop of the auto giant’s announcement it had cut its full-year earnings outlook and that it may not break even in its core automotive division as North American vehicle sales continue to slide. The company says it will axe nearly 2,000 jobs in the US.

So far it has not said what the impact on the UK would be. But in a statement it said, ominously, it was ‘evaluating options for reducing personnel-related costs outside of North America’.

"We're taking steps to immediately reduce our salaried-related costs," chief financial officer Don Leclair said.

"Challenges continue to mount," he said, referring especially to Ford's North American automotive operations.

Ford said its full-year profit outlook was being cut to a range of $1 (67p) to $1.25 a share, excluding items, down from a previous forecast of $1.25 to $1.50 a share.

About 30,000 staff are employed by Ford in the UK at plants in Solihull and Castle Bromwich, Coventry, Gaydon, Halewood and Dagenham.

A Ford spokesman said: "If there are actions to be taken in Europe at a later date then we will go into that then."

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