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Ford to slash 12,000 jobs in Europe by 2020

FRANKFURT, June 27 (Reuters) - Ford said it will cut 12,000 jobs in Europe by 2020 to return its business back to profit.

Ford said it has ceased production at three plants in Russia, is closing plants in France and Wales, and has cut shifts at factories in Valencia, Spain and Saarlouis, Germany.

Approximately 12,000 jobs will be impacted at Fords wholly owned facilities and consolidated joint ventures in Europe by the end of 2020, primarily through voluntary separation programs.

The challenge of investing in electric, hybrid and autonomous vehicles while having to overhaul combustion engines to meet new clean-air rules, has forced Europe's carmakers to slash fixed costs and streamline their model portfolios. (Reporting by Edward Taylor Editing by Tassilo Hummel)