Ford (IW 500/6) said Tuesday it was planning to cut "several hundred" salaried positions from its workforce in Europe, but that all the cuts would be voluntary.
"The reductions will be achieved through a combination of voluntary Ford salaried staff separations, and reductions in expenditure on agency workers and purchased services," Ford Motor Co. said in a statement.
Ford called the cuts part of an ongoing program "to achieve greater efficiencies in all areas of the Ford of Europe business in the current business environment."
"Ford of Europe expects the programs to result in the reduction of several hundred salaried positions, but exact figures won't be known for a few months."
Ford currently employs about 66,000 workers in Europe, the largest proportion of them in Germany.
All the major automakers operating in Europe have been undertaking staff reductions to cope with the contracting European economy and a sizable production overcapacity.
ACEA European Manufacturers Association
Last week the ACEA European manufacturers association said that new car sales in the European Union were down 7.1% for the first eight months of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011.
In July Ford warned of major cuts to its European operations as a 19% drop in sales hit profits.
At the time chief executive Alan Mulally said Europe's troubles run deeper than the current economic crisis and cautioned that all automakers must address the region's serious problems with overcapacity.
"This is a structural issue, not a cyclical issue. It's not going to come back fast and we're not going to be saved by volume," Mulally said.
Agence France-Presse, 2012