- Title: BELGIUM: FORD ANNOUNCES 3,000 JOB LOSSES AT PLANT IN GENK.
- Date: 2nd October 2003
- Summary: (EU) GENK, BELGIUM (OCTOBER 1, 2003) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL). 1. LV/PAN/GV: FORD FACTORY IN GENK (2 SHOTS) 0.11 2. TV: FORD CARS PARKED OUTSIDE FACTORY 0.16 3. GV/PAN/MV: WORKERS OUTSIDE THE FACTORY WAITING AT THE GATES (2 SHOTS) 0.29 4. SOUNDBITE (Flemish) ACLVB (ALGEMEEN CONTROLE LIBERALE VAKBOND GENERAL CONTROL LIBERAL UNION) MEMBER GODELIEVE RONDAGS, SAYING: "How we feel? I think that everybody is deeply disappointed by what management has told us. They always told us the Focus would be produced here in Genk. There would be an investment of nine hundred millions euros. The Ford Galaxy would be produced here as well and in the end we just wont get anything." 0.48 5. CU/PAN/MV: FORD LOGO, WORKERS OUTSIDE THE FACTORY 0.58 6. MV/CU: FORD EMPLOYEES TALKING TO EACH OTHER OUTSIDE THE FORD PLANT (4 SHOTS) 1.21 (EU) BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (OCTOBER 1, 2003) (REUTERS-ACCESS ALL) 7. MV: FORD EUROPE MANAGEMENT TALKING TO THE PRESS; MEDIA ATTENDING FORD NEWS CONFERENCE (2 SHOTS) 1.32 8. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOHN FLEMING, VICE PRESIDENT MANUFACTURING FOR FORD EUROPE, SAYING: "The changes that we are making in Genk, which are part of broader changes that we are making right across Europe, which will actually reduce employment by about seven thousand jobs in the time frame between now and the end of 2004, will significantly reduce our over operating costs in Europe and will help very specifically our business structure." 1.58 (EU) GENK, BELGIUM (FILE) (FORD - ACCESS ALL) 9. GV/MV/CU: ASSEMBLY LINE OF THE FORD CARS PRODUCTION INSIDE THE FACTORY IN GENK (4 SHOTS) 2.26 (EU) BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (OCTOBER 1,2003) (REUTERS-ACCESS ALL) 10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FLEMING, SAYING: "I do feel extremely bad and that's why we will go through the process and we will do everything we can to minimize the effect. However, I want also to balance it on the other side that says that if we don't take these actions, then I believe we are in a position where all business of Ford in Europe will not be viable. So, that means the actions have to be taken because of that." 2.52 (EU) GENK, BELGIUM (FILE) (FORD - ACCESS ALL) 11. MV/GV: ASSEMBLY LINE IN GENK (2 SHOTS) 3.06 (EU) GENK, BELGIUM (OCTOBER 1, 2003) (REUTERS-ACCESS ALL) 12. GV/LV/CU: EXTERIORS OF THE FORD FACTORY IN GENK (4 SHOTS) 3.31 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 17th October 2003 13:00
- Location: BRUSSELS AND GENK, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Reuters ID: LVACHLY0TRI5TCZJ1E0RICWC4B2G
- Story Text: Ford has announced it is cutting 3000 jobs in
Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday (October 1), it was
cutting 3,000 jobs at its plant in Genk, Belgium, bringing
job cuts announced in recent days to 7,700 in Europe and
North America amid slumping sales and tough price
Ford said the Belgian jobs would go because it is
cutting production and scrapping plans to produce the next
generation of its Focus mid-range car at the Genk factory
in a bid to cut costs.
"I think that everybody is deeply disappointed by what
management has told us," said union member Godelieve
"In the end we just wont get anything," she added.
Vice President of Manufacturing for Ford Europe John
Fleming said the job cuts would significantly reduce
operating costs in Europe.
"If we don't take these actions, then I believe we are
in a position where all business of Ford in Europe will not
be viable," Fleming added.
Ford's European operations registered a surprisingly
big pre-tax loss of 525 million U.S. dollars in the second
quarter and have vowed a better performance in the second
half. Ford is maintaining its earnings per share target of
70 cents for the full year.
The Belgian cuts come on top of the elimination of
3,000 North American salaried jobs announced on Tuesday
(September 30) and plans to offer buyouts to 700 salaried
workers and 1,000 hourly workers in Germany, announced on
Monday (September 29).
Rival car giant Daimler Chrysler AG plans to use early
retirement packages to cut as many as 5,000 jobs at its
truggling U.S. Chrysler operation, according to media
Chrysler wants to reduce its U.S. skilled workforce to
7,000 employees from 12,000, The Detroit News reported,
citing union and company sources. A company spokeswoman at
the group's offices in Stuttgart declined to comment on the
Few European car makers expect profits to grow this
year as they battle falling demand on both sides of the
Atlantic, adverse currency effects and long-standing
Most experts have forecast a fall of two to three
percent in the region's car sales before demand picks up
next year, but a tough pricing environment exacerbated by
an onslaught from Asian rivals is likely to continue to put
pressure on profits.
New car sales in France, one of Europe's worst-hit car
markets, nudged higher in September after a sharp summer
fall, but like-for-like figures showed a real upturn was
some way off, with a year-to-date decline of 7.2 percent.
Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, who faces an
uphill struggle to create some 200,000 new jobs in Belgium
in the next four years, was meeting with Ford's European
management after the job cuts were announced.
Trade unions reacted angrily and feared the move would
lead to even more job cuts at supply contractors to the
Genk plant, which they said would be sealed off for the
next few days.
Booth said he expected Ford Europe to return to
profitability in the fourth quarter of this year, but did
not expect any significant pick-up in industry volumes in
the foreseeable future or even next year.
Besides cancelling the Focus investment -- which was
announced last year and would have amounted to about
230-250 million euros for the Genk plant -- Ford also plans
to cut daily capacity of its larger Mondeo cars in Genk to
840 from about 1,100.
Two other European plants, including Saarlouis in
Germany, would handle the production of the new Focus.
Ford Genk currently employs 8,300 workers and that
number would drop to 4,700-4,800 by the end of 2004 as the
new job cuts would come on top of earlier announced
lay-offs. The plant last year produced 362,200 cars.
In 1997, French car maker Renault closed down its
Belgian plant in Vilvoorde.
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