Ford Authority

Ford Supplier Webasto Will Shed Jobs After Weak 2023

Ford supplier Webasto was quick to make the news a few years ago during the launch of the sixth-generation Ford Bronco, albeit not exactly in a good way. Rather, the very first iteration of the SUV’s molded-in color hardtop suffered from quality issues that sent it back to the drawing board, and then, the company had a hard time building enough tops to meet demand amid the height of the pandemic. Regardless, Webasto invested big in expanded MIC production, and as Ford Authority recently reported, consumers will soon be able to purchase those same tops directly from The Blue Oval as well. However, with demand for its goods waning, Webasto has announced that it will be now be shedding some jobs.

Ford Bronco Wildtrak Argentina Cactus Gray - Exterior 002 - Rear Three Quarters

“The annual result for 2023 is disappointing and forces us to take action,” said Dr. Holger Engelmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Webasto SE. “We have therefore launched a broad-based program to sustainably improve our corporate results and secure the future of Webasto. We are currently reviewing our capacities and structures in all regions and areas to identify unused optimization potential. Job cuts in the double-digit percentage range are probably unavoidable.”

This news comes as Webasto reported a sales increase of nearly 4.6 billion euros last year, though earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) was only slightly positive at around 20 million euros. Regardless, “considerable fluctuations in demand, increased cost pressure, inflationary effects, disruptions in the supply chain, and weak development in many markets are reflected in our figures,” Englemann added.

Ford Bronco Wildtrak Argentina - Exterior 002 - Front Three Quarters

As Ford Authority reported last May, Webasto workers voted to join the United Auto Workers (UAW) union in 2023 as well. The UAW kicked off its organizing drive at the company last November, and wound up securing the votes it needs to proceed in spite of Webasto’s efforts to prevent that from happening – which prompted a Bronco seat supplier, LM Manufacturing, to give its own workers a raise.

We’ll have more Ford supplier news to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Bill McCaughan

    Could you do a report on lack of increase in build quality and quality control in spite of 40% increase in UAW salaries and benefits. More $s for the UAW, no benefit to customers…??

  2. Ks

    Quality is a management issue not worker.

    1. wjtinfwb

      Spoken like a truly bad worker.

  3. Joe

    UAW in ’23, job layoffs in ’24. Warning to those workers considering the UAW at VW, Tesla, Honda, Toyota etc. as economic realities can strike quickly as the foreign manufacturers can move U.S. based prodution back to there respective home countries eeded. Count your blessings !

  4. wjtinfwb

    I recall the Webasto name on the sunroof’s of many cars, particularly European in the 70s-90s. A pretty simple molded top assembly has caused them and their clients, Ford and end customers, tremendous grief. Either their QC process is abysmal, or the engineering of the top’s construction is faulty. Regardless, I’m surprised Ford hasn’t replaced them with another vendor that can deliver a quality product. Since Bronco production has been capacity constrained with hardtops being one of the key components holding up production, I’m not surprised their volume is down. Imagine how many tops you could have sold if they were of good quality.


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