Site closures to bring Ford’s capacity to 80 percent, boost profitability

Article by Christian A., on March 12, 2014

Ford of Europe will have a production capacity usage of 80 percent once it completes its current round of site closures, according to chief operating officer Barb Samardzich. She remarked that the moves will place Ford in a position to attain "the profitability that we were targeting in Europe," adding that they wanted to be “at least 80 percent or above capacity utilization."

Ford is due to close its Genk site in Belgium at year end. It follows site closures in Southampton and Dagenham, England, in 2013. Ford of Europe President Stephen Odell has said the carmaker is expecting to log a profit in Europe for 2015. Ford posted $1.6 billion in losses in Europe in 2013. Capacity reduction is one of two vital elements in Ford's plan to end its string of losses in Europe.

The carmaker is also planning for an aggressive vehicle rollout, with 10 launches this year and 25 over five years. According to Samardzich, Ford’s product plan is on schedule; it is now selling the EcoSport small crossover on sale and has started rolling out the two-ton version of the Ford Transit. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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