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Ford Australia coy on local job losses amid international cuts

By Cameron Kirby, 21 May 2019 News

Ford Australia coy on local job losses amid international cuts

Ford will trim 7000 jobs or 10 percent of its salaried global workforce this year

In an email to staff, Ford CEO Jim Hackett detailed widespread job cuts to come at the Blue Oval, with plans to cull 7000 salaried positions or roughly 10 percent of the global salaried workforce.

The email states the job cuts will include “both voluntary and involuntary separations over the past year”.

Read: 2019 Ford Mustang GT auto overheating on track

Despite the international cuts, Ford Australia doesn’t expect a significant number of job losses locally, having already reduced the workforce in 2019.

Hackett’s justification for the job cuts is an aim to reduce bureaucracy within the organisation.

By the Blue Oval’s own estimations, the changes are set to save the company US$600 million (A$869 million) a year. These savings will be reinvested in increasing funding for "in-vehicle infotainment, software, electrification, and other areas".

Read: Ford sells Broadmeadows and Geelong assembly sites

Ford says US employees set to lose their jobs will be informed by the end of the week, while other regions will know their fate by the end of August.

Locally, Ford Australia axed more than 200 jobs earlier in the year during a global restructure of engineering divisions. Approximately 90 contractors, 75 hourly workers and 40 salaried workers lost their jobs in January. Last week, it announced that it had finally sold its shuttered engine and vehicle assembly sites in Geelong and Broadmeadows.

More than 2000 people are currently employed by Ford Australia, with 1700 design and engineering staff, and approximately 300 head office workers.

Ford’s design and engineering workforce is the largest of its kind in Australia.

Read next: Lights out: Inside the final days of Ford's Aussie manufacturing

January’s job losses affected powertrain and chassis engineers whose roles have been moved to Detroit and other international proving grounds.

A Ford Australia spokesperson told Wheels that while more job losses could not be ruled out, it didn’t expect Aussie workers to be heavily affected by this latest wave of cuts because of the earlier restructure.