A spokesperson at the automaker’s headquarters in Michigan said on Monday that discussions with the German works councils were continuing and that the company needs to be “more competitive” as it transitions to EVs. He would not comment on specific job plans.

Workers were told to expect concrete numbers of job losses from the automaker in mid-February, according to Cologne’s daily paper, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.

Industrial action threats

Ford’s plans triggered a union threat of Europewide disruption.

“If negotiations between the works council and management in coming weeks do not ensure the future of workers, we will join the process. We will not hold back from measures that could seriously impact the company not just in Germany but Europe-wide,” IG Metal said.

Ford of Europe produces, sells and services Ford brand vehicles in 50 markets, employing around 45,000 people at its own facilities and consolidated joint ventures, according to its website.

The latest cuts come three years after Ford’s last big job cull.

In 2019 Ford announced that it was creating 12,000 jobs in Europe, about 20 percent of the overall workforce, and reducing its manufacturing footprint in the region to 18 facilities from 24.

It ended production at three plants in Russia, closed an engine factory in Bridgend, Wales, and shuttered a transmission plant near Bordeaux, France.

Ford also closed its UK headquarters in Warley, Essex, and consolidated operations in Dunton, where it has a technical center.

Reuters contributed to this report