Ford Australia will make 250 salaried employees in its vehicle development and design departments redundant in the coming months.
Staff told CarExpert some engineering and design employees have been offered the option to apply for a voluntary redundancy package – although if fewer than 250 people apply, it’s possible fewer than 250 will be laid off.
A spokesperson for Ford confirmed the Blue Oval will offer a “voluntary separation program for approximately 250 of our 1400 salaried product development and design employees”, as it shrinks some teams following the launch of the latest Ranger ute and Everest four-wheel drive.
“The program will allow us to balance employee levels with the next stage of our product development work,” the Ford Australia spokesperson said.
The latest round of redundancies follows cuts in late 2022 to Ford Australia’s workforce. 120 contract staff were made redundant, once again due to the end of the pre-launch Ranger and Everest development cycle.
The T6.2 platform underpinning the Ranger and Everest features on global products such as the Bronco off-roader, and will form the basis of the next-generation Ranger expected to hit the USA late in 2023 or early in 2024.
Although the vehicles have now launched locally, Ford said Australia “will continue to lead Ranger and Everest engineering and design work globally, as well as contribute to other global programs”.
Late in 2022, it said it would continue to contribute “extensively” to global programs. The brand recently invested $12 million in an expanded Melbourne design studio, which opened in 2021, and has previously claimed it invests around $500 million each year in its Australian operations.
The design studio was where the Ford Falcon was designed, dating back to the XA of 1972, and was also home to the design of the Territory SUV.
Ford Australia designers and engineers have also worked on various products for China, India and South America which have never been sold here, including the Escort and the outgoing Taurus for the Chinese market.