The Ford Motor Co. announced Thursday morning that it’s going to “transform” its operations in Europe. That means the automaker will close plants, stop producing some models and lay off what a Ford executive called a “significant number” of its 50,000 European employees.
Ford’s been in Europe for more than a century. It’s also the last American carmaker with a significant presence in Europe. The European economy is showing signs of a slowdown and demand for cars is changing. Ford executives say the company hasn’t been profitable there for decades. GM sold off its European marques and pulled out of the market in 2017. Chrysler never really established a foothold in Europe and is now owned by Fiat, a European carmaker. Ford’s troubles reveal a lot about why it’s been hard for American car companies to succeed in Europe.
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