Ford Eyes Furloughs As Coronavirus Shows No Signs of Early Exit

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ford eyes furloughs as coronavirus shows no signs of early exit

It would be great if pandemics arrived with clear time frames in tow. Alas, this is not the way nature works. And for companies dependent on workers, um, working, the unpredictability of a viral outbreak means every cost-saving measure is on the table.

At Ford, which has already announced a hiring freeze and executive pay cuts, existing efforts might not be enough to stabilize its balance sheet.

As reported by Automotive News, Ford CEO Jim Hackett, speaking on Detroit radio station WWJ Tuesday, said rotating furloughs of salaried employees might need to happen if the current production shutdowns persist into early May.

“Using furloughs is a smart way where you can dial down some of the compensation. It’s painful, but the jobs aren’t in question,” Hackett said. “And then, as we get through it, you dial up the pay.”

The CEO said he prefers a rotating plan (one week off, without pay, after every three weeks worked) over a broad white-collar pay cut.

Last week, rival General Motors outlined a deferred income arrangement for its global salaried workforce. At the same time, Ford, currently scrambling to produce face masks and ventilators with the help of healthcare industry partners, announced the planned resumption of production at certain U.S. assembly plants. Heavy on trucks, the “key” plants were said to come back online April 14th.

That all changed Tuesday, when the automaker slammed the brakes on its plan. Against a backdrop of new warnings and extended social distancing measures broadcast from the federal level, Ford said the plants would not resume production as scheduled “to help protect its workers.”

As before, the company said it will regularly assess the situation to determine if a return to work is safe.

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  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Apr 02, 2020

    Subaru CFO Toshiaki Okada said in February that “it’s impossible to manufacture cars without China.” LOL! Sounds like he's going to need to make the impossible possible to keep selling cars. Boo hoo.

  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Apr 02, 2020

    Speaking of average salaries, some salaries are more average than others.

  • Arthur Dailey Toronto Blue Jays' games are only available on AM radio. As I am 'on the road' quite often when the Jays play that is my only option for listening to the game. So an AM radio is something of a 'must have' for me.
  • JMII My brother tracked one of these for several years... it will embarrass other sports cars. He sold it to someone who still rips it around on track days. Given my previous VW experience I wouldn't touch it but these are surprising quick and handle well for hatchback credit going to a decent AWD system. $16k seems crazy, but Rs aren't that common and this one appears to be in great condition and seems well sorted.
  • Arthur Dailey I meant the grille and the profile along the passenger area. Look closely and it is reminiscent of the Journey.
  • Daniel 16500 pesos
  • IanGTCS Blue jays games are on AM so if I happen to be in the car when they are playing I listen. Sometimes I'll tune into the comedy station as well. If AM went away I'd really only miss listening to baseball but I imagine they would migrate to a local FM station.