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Employee Anxiety Said To Be Building At Ford

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Things were looking up when the Ford Motor Company announced their new chief lobbyist, but the mood changed when news of a new round of white collar layoffs became apparent. We broke that story mid-February, and now we’re following up with how Ford is handling reactions to the future layoffs.

According to a recent report from the Detroit Free Press, white-collar workers say the mood at Ford headquarters in Dearborn is palpably anxious. Those inside have described the workplace as having, “paralyzing” tension as employees are anxiously awaiting job cuts and strategic decisions to be made. It’s $11-billion restructuring process is slowly unfolding, and it’s taking quite the toll on blue oval workers.

As we reported, Bob Shanks, who has been chief financial officer since 2012, is retiring. More will go soon, but there are uncertainties about who, when, and how many in total. We do know that the automaker is focusing on white collar positions with 30 or more years of experience in vehicle development and engineering roles. We have received conflicting information regarding the timing of these Ford layoffs, but have narrowed it down to one of the following: the cuts will either be announced in April or be announced prior to April, with the first cuts taking place by April.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett acknowledged the internal anxiety in a recent interview, saying “it’s totally fair.” At the same time, several senior employees interviewed by The Detroit Free Press have described working with Hackett as, “exhausting,” and employees said that Hackett is critical of performance without providing clear direction.

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Austin is an automotive enthusiast from Buffalo, NY with a passion for speed. When Austin isn't writing about the auto industry you can find him racing go-karts, competing in time attack events, or autocrossing his 2017 Toyota 86—with a manual transmission, of course!

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Comments

  1. Rich

    So where did Hackett come from that he has gained so much insight to lead Ford in another direction.

    Reply
  2. Donald Hayes

    Reorganizing a company is tough without the support of your team. It appears that’s happening at Ford. I often wonder if Mr.Hacket is over his head taking over the leadership at Ford. To me Growing Steel case is a big difference from turning around a company like Ford. The automotive industry grows from it’s product, technologies, marketing, dealer network and management leadership. Instead of Ford improving it current car lineup and cutting the models that are not providing sales and profits. The decision is made to drop all cars in the US market thankfully excluding the Mustang. So now Ford will only be offering SUVs and pick up trucks for the American public. In no way can this be considered a smart business decision. Instead of a complete redesign of the once popular Fusion. It’s removed from the US market. A beautiful redesigned Escort can only be viewed in pictures by potential buyers here in the US. Basically Mr.Hackett is handing it’s US car business to it’s competition. Looking at areas where Ford sells it’s products. North America was the only profitable market, yet Mr.Hackett is hell bent on putting Ford’s eggs in the Chinese basket along with other markets where their economy’s are in the tank. Poor running Manufacturing plants in other countries are currently being closed. Why wasn’t this at the top of the list? Why wait so long? From what I read. Ford’s leadership is running Ford through knee jerk reactions. If the idea comes to mind. Let’s do it. Mr. Hackett has been in charge of Ford since 2017. Why weren’t these plants closed earlier. Why was the redesign of the Fusion cancelled. I believe the Fusion was selling around 300,000 units annually. When you purchase a new vehicle you’re looking to have a new vehicle. Something that looks different and unique to the previous years and that offers the newest technologies. Ford has simply forgotten the Fusion as it it has the Taurus. Maybe the Taurus is too far gone for it to recapture the excitement of yesteryear but the Fusion still has a customer base and people still like the Fusion and will buy it. Just make it a new exciting and roomier Fusion, offering a base model, luxury, and true performance like Dodge does with the decade old Charger. Bring the new Focus to the American shores and let the customers decide. If it doesn’t sell. Then stop selling it in the US, but at least give it a shot. I feel it will be a very hot commodity, especially the ST line once it hits the US, It appears the younger buyers unless they are interested in the Mustang drive pass the Ford dealership. How does your dealership feel about Ford’s current direction? Dropping the cars from the lineup? My opinion is they’re not happy. My wife and I both own Ford products switching from different brands. I was looking for a performance sedan and found that the Taurus, though large in size was tight on passenger room. Performance was nothing special. The Fusion was attractive, but didn’t offer the passenger room or the performance I was looking for. Looking at both vehicles. They look the same as previous models. Just because the model year changes. These two cars haven’t. I ended up purchasing a new Escape Titanium. My wife purchasing an Edge Sport. We’re both happy, but I really didn’t purchase a Ford sedan I set out to buy. FCA marketing grabbed my attention with the tire burning Hemi RT Charger TV spot, so I had to test drive one. I was very impressed from it’s looks, technology and great performance for a big sedan. Honestly it’s performance removed all thoughts of how old the Dodge Charger really is. So I say to. Mr Hackett. Don’t give up on the Fusion. Make it new and exciting. Bring the Escort to the US. Follow up and complete the current projects on the table regarding new products. Where’s the Bronco, what’s the complete story on the GT500? Bring the Mustang hybrid crossover to market. Don’t forget the Anerican buyers made Ford’s success. This should be where you start the Ford turnaround. Not China. Lead by example earning respect by making good decisions. I’m hoping you rethink discontinuing all sedans and really take a close look at those in management your looking layoff. Fear of job lose means a lose in productivity.

    Reply

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