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Ford to Slash More Jobs But Won’t Say How many, VW to Kill 7,000 Jobs

Summary:
Ford and Volkswagon both announced major job cuts. But Ford won't disclose how many until the deed is done. "We're not going to provide any numbers," Ford spokesman Said Deep said Wednesday in response to questions about the specific areas cut. "We will provide details once the process is complete in the second quarter." He added, "We are undergoing a smart redesign process that allows us to create a more dynamic, agile and empowered workforce. At the same time, we're becoming more fit as a business." Deep declined to say when from April through June the company would announce the total number of jobs slashed. Asked whether cuts were, in fact, happening on Wednesday, he declined to provide details. "I can tell you that this whole redesign is going to reduce bureaucracy and empower our

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Ford and Volkswagon both announced major job cuts. But Ford won't disclose how many until the deed is done.

"We're not going to provide any numbers," Ford spokesman Said Deep said Wednesday in response to questions about the specific areas cut. "We will provide details once the process is complete in the second quarter."

He added, "We are undergoing a smart redesign process that allows us to create a more dynamic, agile and empowered workforce. At the same time, we're becoming more fit as a business."

Deep declined to say when from April through June the company would announce the total number of jobs slashed. Asked whether cuts were, in fact, happening on Wednesday, he declined to provide details.

"I can tell you that this whole redesign is going to reduce bureaucracy and empower our leaders to focus on the most value-added work and ensure we have the right cost structure around the world," he said.

White-collar workers have said for months that the mood at Ford headquarters in Dearborn is palpably anxious. They describe "paralyzing" tension waiting for job cuts and strategic decisions as the company's $11-billion restructuring slowly unfolds.

VW Slashes 7,000 Jobs

Volkswagen AG plans to cut as many as 7,000 administrative positions over the next five years amid an industrywide scramble to slash costs and make room on the balance sheet for heavy spending on electric and self-driving cars.

The German auto maker said Wednesday that the job cuts will be at its namesake VW brand, the company’s biggest division. The cuts would amount to about 6% of the brand’s domestic workforce of 119,394 employees.

General Motors Co. said last year it would shed as many as 14,800 factory and salaried workers and shut several factories in the U.S. and Canada, cutting costs by $4.5 billion to free up cash to invest in electric and self-driving vehicles.

Volkswagen isn’t the only German auto maker under pressure. Luxury-car makers BMW AG and Daimler AG, which makes Mercedes-Benz, have cast off their decadeslong rivalry to combine forces to develop self-driving car technology and new mobility services such as car-sharing and ride-hailing.

The digitization of routine processes and products is shaking the industry. Vehicles and their manufacture, largely unchanged for a century, are being rethought, jeopardizing jobs from the office tower to the factory floor.

At the same time, auto makers are hiring armies of software programmers and developers to keep up with the technological change.

The auto industry now finds itself in direct competition with Silicon Valley tech giants such as Tesla, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and ride-hailing behemoth Uber Technologies Inc. Investors sizing up the competitors have bid down the share prices of conventional auto makers.

Revolution Underway

A car revolution is underway on many fronts.

Speaking at the annual Geneva Motor Show last week, PSA Group SA CEO Carlos Tavares said “The period that goes from now up to 2030 is going to be chaos.”

There is no doubt about that.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Mike Shedlock
Mike Shedlock (Mish) is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management (http://www.sitkapacific.com/). Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

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