In a strange way the news that Ford is about to downsize in a major way makes me feel a bit better that I got laid off last year…
DETROIT – Ford Motor Co., the nation’s second-largest automaker, said Monday that it will cut 25,000 to 30,000 jobs and idle 14 facilities by 2012 as part of a restructuring designed to reverse a $1.6 billion loss last year in its North American operations.
The cuts represent 20 percent to 25 percent of Ford’s North American work force of 122,000 people. Ford has approximately 87,000 hourly workers and 35,000 salaried workers in the region.
Earlier Monday, Ford reported earnings of $2 billion in 2005, down 42 percent from last year’s profit of $3.5 billion. It was the third straight year the automaker has reported a profit, but gains in Europe, Asia and elsewhere were offset by a loss of $1.6 billion in North American operations.
That’s a lot of folks out of work, many of whom will be here in Michigan and that can’t be good for any hopes of turning this state’s economy around. The fact that it’ll be happening over the next 6 years will help spread out the pain, but Michigan’s Wixom assembly plant is due to be shut down by 2008. I drive by that plant on my way into work every morning now that we’ve moved out to Brighton.
I’m no big fan of Ford’s products and my experience working for the company didn’t give me a lot of reason to change my mind after seeing the decision making process used at the company, but I have a lot of friends that work for Ford so I have no big desire to see the company go belly up anytime soon. Here’s hoping most of them manage to avoid being laid off like I was.