Ford Set to Trim 4000 Jobs
Ford Motor Co. took the first step in its next restructuring by confirming it plans to trim up to 4000 white-collar jobs in North America by the end of March.
Mark Fields, Ford president of the
The plan is expected to include the closure of assembly plants and the reduction of other operations. The plan was originally due in October but William Clay Ford Jr., Ford's chairman and chief executive officer, decided to defer implementation to give Fields and his chief deputy Anne Stevens a chance to review the plans and put their own stamp on it.
Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers, confirmed last week that the union has opened discussions with Ford about revisions to the healthcare benefits that are part of the UAW's contract with the automaker. Gettelfinger didn't offer any timetable for completing the healthcare agreement with Ford, but the union has already agreed to a package of concessions to General Motors that is expected to save that automaker as much as $3 billion. Ford's problems with healthcare costs are not as severe as GM's because the company has fewer retirees, but they are still substantial.
Ford Set to Trim 4000 Jobs (11/20/2005)
More job cuts presage new restructuring plan coming from Ford's front office.
GM Fights Bankruptcy Speculation
General Motors Corp. is under intense pressure to move ahead with its new restructuring plans as talk of bankruptcy and ruin continued to intensify throughout the financial community.
The struggling automaker also got a mixed message from the preliminary surveys of November sales by J,D. Power & Associates. Midway through the month, sales of large vehicles seemed to be recovering, but GM sales still have dropped 24 percent so far in November.
GM has staked $1 billion on the new versions of its full-size SUVs, so the report on large vehicles was interpreted as a positive development for GM, according the Power report.
Meanwhile, Richard Wagoner, GM's chairman and chief executive officer, moved to reassure employees with a message in which he said bankruptcy simply wasn't an option for the giant automaker.
"I'd like to just set the record straight here and now: there is absolutely no plan, strategy or intention for GM to file for bankruptcy," Wagoner said in a letter to employees, which a GM spokesman said was posted on an internal Web site.
Wagoner said GM has a clearly defined turnaround plan and "a robust balance sheet," with $19 billion in cash and $16 billion in assets in a trust fund for retiree healthcare.
GM Fights Bankruptcy Speculation (11/20/2005)
Company may announce new restructuring this week to counter Chapter 11 talk.
The United Auto Workers and the other unions representing workers at the bankrupt Delphi Corp. still hope to focus more attention on the excessive compensation promised to the company's top executives as information surfaces suggesting the company is in for a sweeping overhaul.
Reports circulated last week that buyers have begun to emerge for key
UAW president Ron Gettelfinger described
Unions Say Delphi's Miller Wrong (11/20/2005)
Chief hasn't fixed management problems - so why bargain, asks union?
Everywhere I go, people ask me about General Motors. Here are the questions and my answers.
Q. Will General Motors go bankrupt?
A. Why would it? The problem people think GM could solve by bankruptcy is its labor contract. The high pay is a problem, but the major concerns are the costs of benefits: the healthcare for workers, the laid-off, and retirees and families; the Jobs Bank that keeps people paid for years when they aren't working, and the pensions. First, the pensions are safe. Second, any attempt to chop the contract through bankruptcy would bring on a strike and the union is stronger than the company, so it is hard to see how the problems would be solved. The new contract talks are six months away. Forget bankruptcy at this time.
Flint: Your GM Questions Answered (11/20/2005)
There's a lot of scuttlebutt on the street about GM. Here's the real word.
Witz: How GM Should Fix Itself
"All the President needs to do is say, '
"Remember the Arab oil embargo of the '70s…when consumers reacted by flocking to smaller, higher mileage foreign-made cars…? Fast forward to today. Once again gas prices are soaring. Once again, consumers are buying high-quality, high-mileage vehicles from someone other than General Motors. Once again, GM has the wrong vehicles in its lineup." - factually challenged auto journalist/blogger.
"I had a GM car that was a piece of crap! I'll never buy
Okay, I made that last one up. But we've all read those letters, most often about domestics. Unfortunately, the first two quotes are real and woefully indicative of mainstream media, government and public thinking about
Witz: How GM Should Fix Itself (11/20/2005)
There's no quick and easy solution, but perceptions could help greatly.
Sentiment Shifting To Fuel Efficiency?
American consumers are showing more interest in fuel-efficient vehicles and less in big sport-utility vehicles in the wake of
Richard Curtin, director of the
Gasoline prices had risen for 36 straight months prior to Katrina and consumers always assumed gasoline prices would fall at some point. After the hurricanes struck the
As a result, consumers' interest in fuel-efficient vehicles has increased even as gasoline prices have started to fall, he suggested. It's clear that Americans are now in the grip of "inflation angst," Curtin added. The threat of inflation has reduced consumer confidence and could limit economic growth in the months to come, he added.
Sentiment Shifting To Fuel Efficiency? (11/20/2005)
New U-M survey shows buyers increasingly concerned with gas mileage.
VW's Moonraker Studies Malibu, Cars
Pulling a page from the reality television series Big Brother, 23 Volkswagen employees have shacked up near the laid-back
Times are tough for the German automaker's
A fundamental problem is that VW has lost touch with the distinctive tastes and needs of American motorists. So the employees camped out in
Ultimately, the effort is meant to generate "a systematic change in how we view the
VW's Moonraker Studies Malibu, Cars (11/20/2005)
Is it more MTV than
Honda Expanding in
Honda has decided to enlarge its Brazilian Sumaré plant, in
This month, the Brazilian ethanol program turns 30 years old. Launched in 1975 in response to the 1973 oil shock, the program, which moved
FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases
Cadillac, the American icon of luxury, design, and performance, unveiled the 2007 Escalade, the next-generation of the luxury SUV, at an exclusive event at Milk Studios in
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