April 9, 2019 / 11:34 PM / in 2 months

Ford launches layoff program for Brazil's Camaçari plant

SAO PAULO, April 9 (Reuters) - The Brazilian unit of Ford Motor Company said on Tuesday it was initiating a voluntary layoff program for its plant in Camaçari, in the northeast state of Bahia, with the objective to cut workforce it said was in excess of current needs.

The company in its statement did not say how many people it expected to lay off.

Ford previously said the plant was operating with about 700 excess workers. The plant employs 7,400 people in Camaçari, where it produces the compact Ka and mid-sized EcoSport SUV.

The U.S. automaker said two months ago it would close its oldest plant in Brazil, in São Bernardo do Campo, which could cost more than 2,700 jobs as part of a restructuring meant to end losses around the world.

Referring to the Bahia plant, Ford said: “The measure has the objective to align the plant’s workforce with current market demand.”

Ford sold 24,000 Ka vehicles in Brazil in the first quarter, about the same level as in the previous year. It sold 7,600 EcoSports, more than the 7,000 reported in the first quarter of 2018.

Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr.; Writing by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Peter Cooney

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