Carmaker Ford has announced plans for a major shake-up of its operations in the UK and mainland Europe.
It is expected to lead to thousands of job losses across the continent, although the immediate impact on its UK operations is expected to be limited.
Ford is talking to unions about measures to reduce costs, including focusing on more profitable models and exiting less profitable markets.
It will concentrate more in future on electric and hybrid technology.
The firm will also expand its commercial vehicle business.
The company says there will be a “reduction of surplus labour” across all its business functions.
It has not released any figures, as discussions with unions are continuing.
Ford operates two engine factories in the UK, at Dagenham, east of London, and Bridgend in Wales, as well as a joint venture with the gearbox manufacturer Getrag on Merseyside.
The announcement is likely to renew concerns about the long-term future of the Bridgend plant in particular. It is already due to lose a major contract to build engines for Jaguar Land Rover in 2020.
Profits at Ford of Europe fell 82% last year, in part due to the fall in the value of the pound as a result of uncertainty over Brexit.
It is understood that while this is a preoccupation for the company, it is one of many factors affecting the business, which has been underperforming for years.
The BBC understands that Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in Essex could potentially benefit from new investment in the commercial vehicles business.
Ford of Europe has 54,000 employees, with 13,000 in the UK.
Original article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46821571