Ford mum about rejig's Asean impact

Ford mum about rejig's Asean impact

Car maker thinning global workforce

Men work at Ford Thailand Manufacturing's facility in Rayong province.
Men work at Ford Thailand Manufacturing's facility in Rayong province.

US car maker Ford Motor Co remains silent on whether its Asean operations will be affected by a US$11-billion restructuring plan to cut 70,000 salaried employees worldwide.

The Michigan-based parent firm on Monday announced the restructuring to reverse its fading fortunes and cope with competitive pressures more nimbly.

Ford's global operations in Europe, Asia and South America are losing money, with only its North American operations turning a profit.

The Bangkok Post asked Ford Asean to clarify the matter, but the regional unit declined to provide more detail.

Ford is in the early stages of reorganising its global salaried workforce to support strategic objectives and create a more dynamic work environment.

The reorganisation will result in a headcount reduction over time and will vary based on team and location.

"We will announce more specifics at the appropriate time," Ford Asean said. "Ford expects this reorganisation to be complete in the second quarter of 2019."

In Asean, Ford has its regional headquarters in Bangkok, including Ford Thailand, which handles car distribution in the country. Thailand is the largest car market for Ford in the region; the other two core markets are Vietnam and the Philippines.

Two finished-car hubs are in Rayong province to serve Ford's Asia-Pacific markets.

The first is handled by AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT), a joint venture with Mazda. Ford accounts for half of AAT's annual production of 270,000 vehicles.

The second is run by Ford Thailand Manufacturing with an annual production capacity of 180,000 units.

In related news, Ford Thailand reported that third-quarter sales jumped 21% year-on-year to 16,930 vehicles, led by the locally made Ranger pickup.

Wichit Wongwatthanakan, newly appointed managing director of Ford Thailand, said Ranger sales climbed 28% for the July-September period to 13,960 vehicles.

"The sales pushed Ranger's third-quarter market share up 0.8 percentage points to 13% in the pickup market, and in September alone we posted a monthly high of 13.6%," Mr Wichit said.

Ranger sales rose 33% to 41,451 vehicles in the first nine months.

The Thai-made Everest SUV contributed to Ford's third-quarter figures, with sales rising 35% to 2,909 vehicles.

For January to September, Everest sales rose by 27% to 7,364 vehicles.

Ford's total sales increased 26% to 49,607 vehicles in the first nine months, driving its overall market share up 0.2 percentage points for the period to 6.6%.

Ford recently launched the iconic Mustang sports car in Thailand with two retail prices of 3,599,000 and 4,799,000 baht. The right-hand-drive Mustang is imported from the US.

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