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Ford Motor Co. moves forward with its electric car ventures and employee layoffs and buyouts

Combustion engines are on their way out; so are the engineers who built them

By Black Headline News

Ford Motor Co. has been granted a conditional $9.2 billion loan for the construction of three battery factories, marking a watershed moment for President Joe Biden's industrial policy meant to help American manufacturers catch up to China in green technologies. (Keith Naughton has the details in today's "Big Take" on Bloomberg Television.)

However, CNBC reported this week that automaker, Ford Motor, cut 3,000 workers in North America last August and has more recently conducted 3,800 layoffs in Europe, under the leadership of CEO Jim Farley. Ford’s employee headcount last year dropped about 10,000 people to 173,000 globally, according to a separate public filing.

The news report continued, Ford Motor Co., is not the only automaker to reduce its headcount, as it realigns its business to focus more on electric vehicles.

Crosstown rival General Motors has taken some layoff actions and conducted an employee buyout program that cost it $875 million during the first quarter.

Meanwhile, earlier this month Ford Motor announced that it opened the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center, a hi-tech production facility in Germany that will build Ford’s new generation of electric passenger vehicles for millions of European customers. The Cologne EV Center will be Ford’s first carbon neutral assembly plant to open globally.

According to Reuters, Ford Motor will begin layoffs this week, impacting mostly engineering jobs in the U.S. and Canada, as part of the Detroit automaker's move to exit unprofitable locations and cut headcount.

The development comes after the company said in May it expects to take up restructuring charges between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in 2023.

The news article also said Ford CEO Farley has previously said the automaker had too many people and that not enough of its workforce had the skills required as the auto industry shifts to electric vehicles and digital services.

The website Zippia reports that out of the 186,000 employees, 12% of Ford Motor employees are Hispanic or Latino, and 11% of Ford Motor employees are Black or African American, as of June 9, 2023.

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