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Ford returns in South America



  View of the US car maker Ford plant in Sao Bernardo do Campo, 25 km south of Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 15, 2015.

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Getty Images

Caption

Ford has been operating the Sao Bernardo do Campo plant since 1
967

Ford has announced it will close a factory in Brazil after more than 50 years, as sales of heavy commercial vehicles in South America cease.

The US automaker said it was "no viable way to profitability" for Sao Bernardo Campo plant, which employs about 2,800 people.

The closure is the latest step in a larger global restructuring.

It is followed by warnings of thousands of job cuts in the UK and mainland Europe.

Lyle Watters, president of Ford of South America, said Ford has continued to commit to the South America region.

He said the company is focused on improving its product offering and implementing a "leaner, more agile business model".

According to labor organizations, job cuts of around 2,800 are expected – a blow in a country where the unemployment rate is already over 10%.

"We know this move will have a major impact on our São Bernardo employees and we will work closely with all our stakeholders on the next steps," said Watters.

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Reuters

Caption

The plant is currently producing Fiesta F-Series trucks

The decision to close the factory and leave the heavy truck business comes about as Ford struggles with a sharp decline in profits due to its international operations.

In South America, sales fell 9% last year and the company lost market share in most countries.

In addition to the closure of Sao Bernardo, Ford recently stopped manufacturing its Focus car in Argentina.

The company said it had cut its salary and administrative expenses in the region by more than 20% in recent months.

& # 39; Major impact & # 39;

The Sao Bernardo do Campo plant is currently producing Ford Cargo trucks. Certain F-Series trucks and the Fiesta car.

The sale of these models ends after stocks have been sold, Ford said.

The closure will cost Ford approximately $ 460 million in termination payments for employees, dealers and suppliers.

The assembly plant of Sao Bernardo do Campo is one of two Ford factories in Brazil and has been in operation since 1967.

It is located near Sao Paulo in an area with a rich history of car manufacturing and unionized work, which has helped usher in the career of former Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva.


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