2. SOUNDBITE (English) Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer:
"Ford was expected to do this for quite a long time. They're laying off 7,000 white-collar workers. They've been in the process of doing it. But the fourth and final wave is coming this week. Most of the 7,000 workers will be overseas and not in the United States. But they'll do about 2,300, mainly in the Detroit area. About 1,500 of them have already either left voluntarily or taken buyouts. And then 300 have been laid off so far. The other 500 are going to get the news this week, which is not a good thing. A lot of employees are on edge waiting for the news, which could come starting tomorrow."
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Redford Township, Michigan – 4 December 2018
3. Various of employees at work in the collaborative robots area of Ford's Advanced Manufacturing Center
Saline, Michigan – 20 May 2019
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer:
"They're trying to restructure and resize their business so they're more competitive. They have a lot of capital needs. They have to pay for autonomous and electric vehicle research and other mobility in addition to the millions of dollars that they normally spend updating their normal products. All of that puts a big strain on capital dollars. And so, they're trying to get the company smaller so they're able to do that. They say they'll save about $600 million a year."
Detroit – 15 January 2019
5. Various of the exterior of Ford's stand at the North American International Auto Show
Detroit – 14 January 2019
6. Various of top Ford executives posing for photos following the company's news event at the auto show
Saline, Michigan – 20 May 2019
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer:
"This is kind of uncharacteristic for the auto industry. Usually they wait until the last minute or until after the problem needs to be solved before they take these kinds of actions. I think fresh in their minds are 2008 and 2009 when the economy went in the tank and GM and Chrysler went into bankruptcy and Ford narrowly avoided it by taking out a big loan. I don't think anybody wants to go back to those days, so they want to be smaller just in case there's a downturn and they have all these capital needs that they'll be able to handle it all."
Flat Rock, Michigan – 18 September 2018
8. Various of Ford employee Nicholas Gotts working at the automaker's Flat Rock Assembly Plant
Ford is preparing for a future of electric and autonomous vehicles by parting ways with 7,000 white-collar workers worldwide, about 10 percent of its global salaried workforce.
The major revamp, which had been under way since last year, will save about $600 million per year by eliminating bureaucracy and increasing the number of workers reporting to each manager.
In the U.S. about 2,300 jobs will be cut through buyouts and layoffs. About 1,500 have left voluntarily or with buyouts, while another 300 have already been laid off. About 500 workers will be let go starting this week, largely in and around the company's headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, just outside Detroit.
Ford's white-collar employees had been fearful since last July when the company said the restructuring would cost $7 billion in cash and hit pretax earnings by $11 billion over the next three to five years. Many have been upset that it took so long for the company to make decisions.
"This is kind of uncharacteristic for the auto industry. Usually they wait until the last minute or until after the problem needs to be solved before they take these kinds of actions," AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher said Monday. "I think fresh in their minds are 2008 and 2009 when the economy went in the tank and GM and Chrysler went into bankruptcy and Ford narrowly avoided it by taking out a big loan. I don't think anybody wants to go back to those days."
Factory workers have not been affected by the restructuring thus far, as the company has retooled car plants so they can build more popular trucks and SUVs.