Ford plans significant layoffs in the wake of a $1 billion loss due to President Donald Trump’s tariff situation with China.
While the intent of the Trump tariff’s is to bring jobs back to the United States and also even out trade agreements with other countries like China, it looks like as many as 24,000, or approximately 12 percent, of the auto company’s 202,000 workers may see a pink slip soon, according to an NBC News report. Even before the president enacted the new taxes on auto imports, Ford informed Trump that the move would cost them $1 billion, and that’s precisely what happened.
According to Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks, “A lot of the (reorganization) is about making different choices about strategy.” The move is part of the car maker’s $25.5 billion reorganization initiative. The automaker plans to “redesign” its current staff to ensure there are fewer levels, which allows employees the power to make more decisions. The planned layoffs will happen among Ford’s white-collar workforce, which numbers about 70,000.
The Detroit Free Press reported, “We need to dig into the process deeper before we know the absolutes,” said Mark Truby, vice president, global communications at Ford, in an interview. “What we’ve kicked off is a redesign of our global salaried workforce — in North America, Europe, Asia, South America….”
The redesign is spearheaded by Ford CEO Jim Hackett, who took over when the company got rid of Mark Fields in May 2017. The most likely goal for Ford is to increase its number of cars produced per employee. Currently, the company makes 32.8 vehicles per employee, which falls well short of its rival GM. At 52.7 vehicles per employee, General Motors appears to operate more efficiently regarding vehicle output.
Ford will be making cuts to its 70,000-strong white-collar workforce in a move it calls a "redesign" of its staff to be leaner, have fewer layers, and offer more decision-making power to employees, the company asserts. https://t.co/qywIMeFn3x— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 8, 2018
In 2016, Trump threatened Ford with massive tariffs over its plan to produce cars in Mexico and import to the U.S. Ford abandoned the Mexico plan. Instead, the automaker moved that production to China instead of the U.S. like the president attempted to force them to do.
According to a report from The Hill, Ford isn’t the only business impacted by the sharply increased tariffs imposed by Donald Trump. Both steel and aluminum face steep import taxes now with 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.
Currently, Ford plans to scrap all its passenger cars except for its famous Mustang and focus solely on SUVs, CUVs, and pickups, which make up the bulk of its sales and revenue.
The United States’ largest auto manufacturer employer, Ford currently provides 85,000 jobs to people in the U.S. The new reorganization just started about a day ago, so nobody knows yet the full results or how many jobs will be impacted due to the tightening budget.