QOTD: Is Ford CEO Jim Farley Right?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
qotd is ford ceo jim farley right

Today is one of those days in which I pose a QOTD based on an earlier news story -- as if you all aren't already arguing in the comments.

This one is a two-parter -- is Jim Farley right? And if so, what can be done to keep job losses to a minimum?

The answer to part one seems obvious since EVs do require fewer parts to assemble. But who knows -- maybe something unforeseen happens?

The second part is trickier, and if I had a good answer I'd be making bank as a consultant, and instead of testing cars I can't afford I'd be buying them. Ahem. Anyway, I do feel for those who might lose their jobs due to broad technological shifts, but I also want to see climate change halted and though EVs aren't perfect (their production still pollutes, as does the mining of the materials needed to build them), they have an advantage over internal-combustion vehicles when it comes to emissions. So, naturally, my empathetic side hopes that Ford and other OEMs can find roles for these workers. Perhaps working with suppliers.

Indeed, if you'll indulge a bit of politics for a second, I think certain Democratic politicians hurt their chances at winning election a few years back by appearing to be unsympathetic to coal miners who'd lose their jobs during a transition to clean energy. There's a way to talk up clean energy without being cold to workers who lose their income -- which is also a source of pride. Farley seems to grasp that, as noted in my earlier piece.

But, i digress. If you have big ideas on how the estimated 40 percent of Ford laborers that might lose their jobs can be "rehomed" within Ford, let us know.

Or don't -- maybe you'll save your best idea, become a consultant, and buy that Eurovan from this morning.

[Image: Ford]

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2 of 48 comments
  • Kevin Kevin on Nov 25, 2022

    Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?

  • Tassos Tassos on Nov 26, 2022

    OK. I have no dog in this fight, and will not bother to say if Farley is right or wrong, but will post a more general truth about such changes and the resulting job 'losses' and 'gains', not only in the auto field, but in any business which advances and evolves.

    I am sure when gas cars replaced horses and buggies, entire sections of the labor force felt threatened, and indeed many lost their jobs, whip and saddle and buggy makers, among others, off the top of my head. BUT when you look at the labor statistics, the US unemployment rate did NOT go up long term.

    Typically, when jobs are lost because of a different technology taking over, they are more than replaced, usually with better, better paying ones.

    This is not a law of MAth that is 100% true of course, it is possible that in the future, Advances in AI may render millions of jobs obsolete. These are NOT good jobs, not creative ones, but ones that even a stupid computer can do as well or better. Humans are BETTER OFF having the stupid computer do them, AND having much more free time for themselves, as the work week (there is nothing DIVINE about the "40 hours" standard, it has come down sharply since the early days of the Industrial revolution, and should come down again, given that it has been stuck at 40 forever. I WELCOME this.

    So yeah, of course, an electric appliance is simpler and more reliable than one powered with a complex gas or diesel engine and all their peripheral components and needs that can frequently go wrong. SO there COULD be serious numbers of jobs lost, IF people buy these BEVs in large numbers (and not only the AFFLUENT. Let's admit it, current BEV prices are RIDICULOUSLY HIGH, even after the mass-market Model 3 entered the market). I will NOT pay $60k for a damned Hyundai BEV. $60k should get me a FULLY OPTIONED E class kind of vehicle. OR has the US dollar become worthless, so people pay ... $50k for a sporty COrolla (as I saw in the last issue of Motor TRend) or a Hyundai-Kia?

  • Arthur Dailey Reading the brochure I cannot remember driving or riding in a Mark IV or V that did not have dual power front seats and dual lit vanity mirrors. I do miss body side molding, rub strips and cut pile carpeting. The HVAC system on these and many other higher end domestics of the 1970s and early 1980s was superb. You could open up the windows and the sunroof in extreme cold temperatures, turn up the heat and drive around comfortably without a coat. The A/C was probably powerful enough to cool down one of the current 'micro condos' being sold in Toronto as livable space. Regardless of the size of the opera windows, if you were claustrophobic you would not enjoy the back seat. It was cramped and you had minimal visibility in any direction from the back seat. The trunk if you had a fullsize spare had minimal storage space but was deeply carpeted. As much as I appreciate this series and Corey's writing, I still vehemently disagree with the looks of the Mark IV versus the Mark V. As much as I appreciate the Mark V, i still believe that the more horizontal/angular looks of the Mark IV are superior.
  • MaintenanceCosts I don't believe a single Mark V was made with what I would see as the correct configuration: steel roof, AstroRoof, and the 460. The steel roof was first-year-only and appeared to be specified only on very basic cars.
  • Jwee FUBAR. Oxford, home of Cowley assembly plant for Minis. The City spent 50+ years promoting the car as transport, and now punish the people for following their policy.
  • RHD The Skoda Enyaq is priced at 34,600 Euros in Germany. If Skoda would like to dip their toes in the water at the other side of the pond, now would be the time.
  • Roadscholar Safety, shmafety....I love it.