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Ford unveils $11.5bn extra cost-cuts in bid to kick-start turnaround

Hannah Boland
Ford's profit margin dipped to 5.2pc in the first quarter from 6.4pc a year earlier - EPA

Ford is slashing an extra $11.5bn (£8.3bn) in costs through to 2021 on top of the $14bn it had already announced, and signalled it may be looking to sell operations in Europe, as it seeks to kickstart a turnaround. 

The car maker expects its annual capital expenditure to peak this year at $7.5bn, and then will be cutting costs across engineering, marketing, manufacturing and sales between 2019 and 2022, saving a total of $25.5bn. 

Ford said it would "not invest in next generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America", and instead would be transitioning towards only selling two models of cars in the region – the Mustang and a new Focus Active crossover, which is coming out next year.

It said around 90pc of its portfolio in North America will be trucks, utilities and commercial vehicles by 2020.  

Through paring back its portfolio and cost-cutting Ford said it should be able to reach its 8pc profit margin two years earlier than initially planned, by 2020.

In the first quarter of 2018, Ford's profit margin dipped to 5.2pc from 6.4pc a year earlier, as it was squeezed by higher aluminium and steel prices. 

Chief financial officer Robert Shanks said: "We are undergoing a profound transformation and are committed to taking decisive action.

"Everything will be on the table. We can make different investments, we can partner, we can exit products, markets – and we will do that."

According to The New York Times, Mr Shanks told reporters Ford was considering exiting or selling operations in Europe and South America. 

The news that Ford is making further cuts, just one month after laying out earlier plans, comes amid mounting pressure for the car maker to stage a turnaround.

Last year it announced a raft of job cuts across its North American and Asia Pacific businesses, but it has still not managed to stage a recovery.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas last month said: "Investors lack confidence in Ford's ability to address chronically loss-making businesses and its potential to pivot into areas of growth. Our discussions with investors suggest low confidence in Ford's earnings visibility and strategic vision."