Ford Motor Co. plans a layoff of around 680 workers at its Craiova site in Romania in 2015 to adapt to the still weak demand in Europe. The Craiova site has been building the B-Max minivan since two years ago, after Ford acquired local carmaker Automobile Craiova in 2008.
Weak demand for the minivan in Europe – down 21 percent to 43,749 units in the first nine months of 2014 -- has resulted to regular production stoppages each month for more than a year.
Ford Romania said in a statement that to help better “secure the competitiveness” of the Craiova plant and to control operational costs, the carmaker has to take necessary measures to adjust production volumes to the current market demand, including a reduction in the site’s workforce.
Ford Romania said it will first implement a voluntary redundancy program at its car division and at its engine production unit.
Workers at the site have until December 18 to decide whether to enter the program. Ford Romania said the program and the layoff intended to “best utilize the remaining workforce” at the Craiova facility and to meet current and expected future production requirements.
The layoff will affect around 20 percent of the plant’s workforce.