Ford, BMW Planning Job Cuts In U.S.
With a large number of automakers pinching pennies these days, it’s easy for the details of various restructuring plans to fall down the memory hole. For example, Ford has been engaged in an ambitious cost-cutting program since 2018. The $11-billion plan was said to take anywhere from three to five years to complete, requiring legitimate sacrifices at the company — including the discontinuation of all sedans in the United States, ending operations in Russia, closing facilities in Europe, and rolling layoffs around the globe.
Ford has actually accelerated its timeline to see how much it can get done before 2021, resulting in the elimination of 7,000 salaried positions globally last year. The company has decided to end another 1,000 salaried positions in the United States.
According to Bloomberg, the latest round of cuts are unrelated to financial complications stemming from the pandemic. They’re just another saga in the company’s extensive restructuring program, with sources suggesting an official announcement by the manufacturer should be made within a week or so.
Ford is in the midst of a sweeping reorganization as it seeks to reverse declining fortunes and achieve what CEO Jim Hackett calls financial “fitness.” The company expects to report a full-year operating loss for the first time in a decade.
Last year, Ford closed plants and eliminated thousands of jobs in Europe, where it has been losing money. In North America — the automaker’s most profitable region thanks to F-Series pickups — the cutbacks are smaller and are expected to come in the form of voluntary buyouts. They are in addition to 2,300 previously announced salaried job reductions in the U.S. during Hackett’s tenure.
BMW has likewise decided to trim down its workforce in the United States. Reporting from Automotive News indicates these are related to COVID-19 , however. “The effects of COVID-19 are far-reaching,” BMW of North America CEO Bernhard Kuhnt wrote in letter to dealers that was intercepted by the outlet. “Given the reduced size of the business, we now need to … re-scale our business across the company accordingly.”
Ford outperformed expectations in the second quarter by only posting a loss of $1.9 billion (pre-tax and interest) instead of the $5 billion it had predicted during the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, BMW’s Q2 showing was worse than expected. The smaller automaker found its operating profits $790 million in the red as sales in the first half fell by 28 percent against the previous year. While both anticipate the rest of 2020 to be a tad more merciful, neither expecting their year-end reports to be loudly celebrated by investors.
For most automakers, the rest of this year will be all about seeing how well things can be improved to reduce the ugliness that has to go into their end-of-year reports, while at the same time ensuring 2021 kicks off with some momentum.
[Image: Image: Ford Motor Co.]
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- SCE to AUX Let it die with dignity - no electrification. That would kill the spirit of the original.Mazda needs to think about survival and market share, not tinker with a niche car with waning sales, or dying on Wankel Hill.Maybe their body and paint engineers could help Tesla once Mazda folds.
- Lou_BC H-E-L-L-C-A-T
- EBFlex "EBFlex speaks more truth."It's sometimes a burden being right all the time.
- MRF 95 T-Bird Add a couple of more body styles. A coupe with a vestigial rear seat like the BRZ along with a shooting brake version would appeal to a number of drivers who want something sporty but not a hatchback or crossover.
- Theflyersfan It's the mother of all "ifs" - if Mazda gets the small rotary/hybrid combo going, I can see them using that in the next MX-5. Can they keep it under 2500 lbs and somewhat affordable? Not sure...this is why I don't run a car company! But if they want to replace it around 2025, and it's 2023 now, they need to get started very soon with some rumors and leaks to keep us going. But with the rest of their lineup going greener in next generations, and Mazda selling under 10,000 MX-5s per year, how does it really impact any average emissions and fuel economy ratings? If they can keep tweaking the Skyactiv-G engine for better fuel economy and fewer emissions, they should be able to get the NE generation using gasoline before being forced to go EV or hybrid with the NF. The mission of the MX-5 is light, affordable, open air fun and it's their halo car. And while I agree that EVs are going to be a much larger part of the future, the "all things by 2035 or 2040 or so on" edicts have "kick the can down the road" written in massive font size 1,000 written all over them. We'll be on gas for a while longer - just continue to eke more mpg out of what we have.All that being said, if they were to put the turbo Skyactiv-G engine in the MX-5 for 2024 and make it a Mazdaspeed model, I'd put a deposit on it right now. I love mine, but if it gets bumped up from 181hp to 250-275hp, it would be a flat out riot to drive.