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Ford CEO Denies Allegations of GM-Eclipsing Layoff Plans

An investment bank analyst portended massive layoffs as part of Ford’s upcoming cost reduction scheme, but Ford’s CEO contested the claim.

byJames Gilboy|
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On Wednesday, Ford CEO Jim Hackett contested a claim that the automaker plans widespread layoffs in a restructuring whose extent is greater than that of General Motors, which will eliminate over 14,000 jobs around the globe.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas insisted Monday that Ford will center its restructuring efforts on a struggling Ford Europe, though North American operations will be pruned too, and see the excision of both salaried and hourly employees. Eliminations at Ford could reportedly total 25,000, though Jonas also predicted that the causes for said layoffs would force additional international automakers to do the same.

Hackett, according to Automotive News, advised in a conference Tuesday against taking Jonas' forecast seriously, citing the analyst's lack of official figures from Ford. The CEO stated that Ford would announce its plans for the future of its workforce later this week.

Ford announced in July that it will undergo a streamlining to the tune of $11 billion. This campaign will free up funds for an anticipated rerouting into electric vehicle technologies such as powertrains and charging infrastructure, but also autonomous vehicle development. GM stated that its own restructuring will be for these reasons, though it will come at the cost of over 14,000 jobs globally, a mass extinction affecting its product lineup and the closures of at least eight factories, five of which are in North America, four in the United States. This will thaw over $6 billion for GM to use as it pleases.

Ford will need drastic action to catch GM in both technological fields, in both of which the latter is a leader. The Chevrolet Bolt is one of the few mass market-friendly EVs on sale and serves as a development platform for GM's "Cruise" mobility service. Ford won't offer a response until 2020 when its Mustang-inspired electric crossover, possibly named the Mach E, will go on sale.

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