Ford costs are ‘not competitive’ in China, announces sweeping changes

Ford has announced a sweeping set of changes to help make its operations in China more competitive as quickly as possible.

Much like many legacy automakers, Ford has been struggling to achieve higher levels of profitability as it invests heavily in new markets and segments, notably including electric vehicles. This trouble has resulted in the Blue Oval instituting aggressive cost-cutting measures to improve operating efficiency and profitability in key segments. Now, Ford has unveiled yet another cost-cutting effort, this one aimed at making its Chinese offerings more competitive.

As initially reported by Reuters, the message from Ford corporate is clear. Laid out simply, “Our costs are not competitive,” one Ford China representative said, “… we are working internally and with our partners to reduce costs in all areas.”

While not all the specifics of the Ford financial plan have been released, a few key details have been made public. Predominantly, Ford will reportedly be cutting 1,300 jobs in China, falling in line with Europe as the auto giant focuses its engineering skill in the United States while maintaining manufacturing centers in other regions. Other changes include a focus on exporting more affordable EV models from China, which has become a popular technique within the automotive industry over the past two decades.

Ford’s new profitability plan in China likely falls under its ~$2 billion set aside for helping to achieve profitability, lower costs, and generally improve competitiveness in top markets. Ford announced the allocation of money earlier this month, shortly after making a series of employment cuts in Europe and dedicating itself to “slimming” its product line.

While some analysts have been skeptical of the efficacy of Ford’s plans, one supportive voice has been Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has recently praised Ford’s strategy as it battles the high production costs of entering the EV market.

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