Blog: Dave LeggettTwo bits of info to mull

Dave Leggett | 30 September 2003

One. Ford is attempting to further cut costs in Europe by looking for more employment reduction at Cologne. Scheele said at the IAA in Frankfurt that Ford's strategy in Europe was to look for extra cost cuts to make up for rising losses due to lower than expected sales and revenues. Ford Europe is not profitable at its current output level and cost base. With Ford's European sales looking stubbornly flat, the question many will ask is: where next will the axe fall? And Jaguar is still losing a packet.

Two. We have published a feature today that points out the extent of the investments taking place in central Europe. Of course, a fair tranche of that capacity will be allocated to growing local central European markets, but there will also be substantial exports to western Europe. Hyundai in particular, already on a sales roll in western Europe, will be eyeing markets on the west of the continent. The established European players will face more intense competition, especially in 3-4 years time when that central European capacity really gets going. Forecasts suggest that car production in central Europe will be some two thirds higher than 2002's production - that's two million units. And workers in central Europe are a lot cheaper than those in places like Wolfsburg and Cologne. That won't change fundamentally.


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