Seeing a twisting road ahead, Ford cuts 7,000 white-collar jobs | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

Seeing a twisting road ahead, Ford cuts 7,000 white-collar jobs

Associated Press
1182503_web1_1182503-fd3115478237408c946a892b8b8b29ed
AP
In this Feb. 17, 2019, file photo the company logo is displayed on the grille of an unsold 2019 F150 pickup truck at a Ford dealership in Broomfield, Colo. Ford is almost finished with a major global restructuring, and by the time it ends in August the automaker will have shed 7,000 white-collar jobs. The company said Monday, May 20 that the plan will save about $600 million per year by eliminating bureaucracy and increasing the number of workers reporting to each manager.
1182503_web1_AP19140736288277
Ford is cutting about 7,000 white-collar jobs, which would make up 10% of its global workforce.

DETROIT — Ford is cutting about 7,000 white-collar jobs, which would make up 10% of its global workforce.

The company has said it was undertaking a major restructuring, and on Monday said that it will have trimmed thousands of jobs by August.

The company said that the plan will save about $600 million per year by eliminating bureaucracy and increasing the number of workers reporting to each manager.

In the United States about 2,300 jobs will be cut through buyouts and layoffs. About 1,500 already have happened. About 500 workers will be let go this week.

In a memo to employees, Monday, CEO Jim Hackett said the fourth wave of the restructuring will start on Tuesday, with the majority of cuts being finished by May 24.

“To succeed in our competitive industry, and position Ford to win in a fast-charging future, we must reduce bureaucracy, empower managers, speed decision making and focus on the most valuable work, and cost cuts,” Hackett’s wrote.

In the U.S. about 1,500 white-collar employees left the company voluntarily since the restructuring began last year, some taking buyouts. About 300 have been laid off already, with another 500 layoffs starting this week.

Most of Ford’s white-collar workers are in and around the company’s Dearborn, Mich., headquarters.

It’s the second set of layoffs for Detroit-area automakers, even though the companies are making healthy profits. Sales in the U.S., where the automakers get most of their revenue, have fallen slightly but still are strong.

In November, General Motors announced it would shed up to 14,000 workers as it cut expenses to prepare for a shift to electric and autonomous vehicles. The layoffs included closure of five factories in the U.S. and Canada and cuts of another 8,000 white-collar workers worldwide. About 5,000 blue-collar positions were cut, but most of laid-off factory workers in the U.S. will be placed at other plants mainly that build trucks and SUVs.

Both companies have said the cuts are needed to prepare for the future, because the companies face huge capital expenditures to update their current vehicles and develop them for the future.

The cuts brought withering criticism of GM from President Trump and Congress, especially the closing of a small-car factory in Lordstown, Ohio. Trump campaigned on bringing factory jobs back to the industrial Midwest. GM has since announced a possible deal to sell the Lordstown plant to a startup electric vehicle maker, but it hasn’t been finalized.

Hackett said in the memo that Ford is departing from past practices and letting laid-off employees stay a few days to wrap up their jobs and say good-bye to colleagues. In the past, laid-off workers would have had to pack up and leave immediately.

“Ford is a family company and saying goodbye to colleagues is difficult and emotional,” Hackett wrote.

Shares of Ford Motor Co. slipped early Monday.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.