Ford is on a mission to refocus its brand as quickly as possible. After laying ambitious claims to convert its own fleet to all-electric by 2035, the American automaker is making significant changes to its business model to accommodate future productions. Recently, those efforts have trickled down directly to the individuals working within the corporate landscape. In order to adjust to the shifting times, Ford is cutting 3,000 white collar jobs, 2,000 of which are salaried positions and another 1,000 that are contracted. All affected employees will be notified about the layoff by the end of the week.
While parting ways with longterm employees is no easy feat, its strictly a business decision, according to Ford. CEO Jim Farley and executive chairman Bill Ford sent out a joint statement to address this difficult transition.
Building this future requires changing and reshaping virtually all aspects of the way we have operated for more than a century.”
Though the latest news will impact thousands Ford employees, it’s a change that many have seen coming. As the automaker shifts from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric models, certain laborers no longer fulfill the needs of the company going forward. Farley even stated, “We absolutely have too many people in certain places, no doubt about it.”
As Ford evolves into an electric powerhouse, the internal combustion department is on track to rapidly scale down in size. That means, those who have spent countless years innovating and contributing to the Ford namesake are left in a precarious situation. Other changes that have already occurred include the construction of new electric vehicle facilities and a battery plant in central Kentucky and west Tennessee.
Ford is cutting 3,000 jobs, but isn’t the only automaker to lay off employees
Tesla recently announced its plans to cut approximately 10% of its salaried employees earlier this month. Similar to Ford, the layoffs stem from a longing to restructure the work force and better appropriate funds within the company. According to Musk, this decision was a direct result of the fast pace in which the company grew and the looming recession ahead.
Since electric vehicle sales, specifically Tesla sales, have been growing exponentially in recent years, the need for skilled laborers in plant facilities has increased greatly. In addition, the cost to expand electric production requires strategic planning for the future and a streamlined vision of what production will look like in the days ahead.
Both Ford and Tesla are taking proactive steps to continue the expansion, even though it comes at an adverse cost to thousands of workers in the automotive sector. Though salaried positions are consolidating as a result, there remains an ongoing need for hourly-skilled laborers to assist with electric manufacturing.
The automotive market has certainly undergone some abrupt changes in 2022. Apart from supply chain disruptions and inventory restrictions beginning to ease up, the financial forecasts suggest there is no sign of slowing down. With the shift from traditional internal combustion engines to EVs by 2035, Ford has ambiguous shoes to fill. All of which require immediate and effectual changes, both from a production and workforce standpoint.
All said and done, these layoffs mark a pivotal and emotional time for several laborers who have contributed to Ford innovation over the years. We suspect there will be more labor cuts in store as the automaker streamlines towards a more efficient means of manufacturing in the years to come.