MICHELIN TO CUT 2,000 JOBS IN NORTH AMERICA
The North American subsidiary of the world’s second largest tiremaker has announced that it will do away with 2,000 jobs—approximately seven percent of its work force—as part of a $200 million cost-cutting program. Michelin North America, Inc. says that it expects the cuts to be felt at each of the company’s 23 North American plants. The company blamed recent downturns in the transportation industry for the changes, reflecting a worldwide slowdown that is forcing Michelin’s parent company in France to pare down its personnel in Europe as well.
GM-FIAT JOINT VENTURE PAYING OFF
"We’re a little ahead of where we need to be," said Robert Socia, chairman of GM-Fiat Worldwide Purchasing. That’s one of two joint ventures the manufacturers launched last year. Socia’s operation is aimed at cutting the cost of purchasing parts and components, and the target was a $500 million reduction this year compared to what Fiat and GM would have needed to spend on their own. After five years, Socia noted, the two automakers believe their savings will rise to $2 billion. But he warned that if Fiat and GM don’t step up plans to share components—and possibly to share platforms—"it will be extremely difficult to get to the projected savings."