Ford lays off thousands of employees

Ford laid off about 3,000 employees and contract workers, with the cuts mainly affecting staff in the US, Canada and India, Wall Street Journal report. Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley sent a memo on Monday informing staff of the layoffs, with affected workers notified later this week.

“Building this future requires changing and reshaping nearly every aspect of the way we have operated for more than a century,” Ford and Farley said in the memo, which we have included at the bottom of this article. “It requires focus, clarity and speed. And, as we’ve discussed in recent months, that means redistributing resources and tackling our cost structure, which is uncompetitive versus traditional and new competitors.”

About 2,000 salaried jobs and 1,000 agency jobs (or contract workers) will be affected. It’s not clear exactly how the cuts could be spread across Ford Blue, which manages internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, and Ford Model E, which manages electric vehicles (EVs). Spokesperson for TR Reid said The Verge that the larger amount of cuts impacted Ford Blue because it made up a proportionately larger share of the company’s business, but declined to provide a specific amount.

Reports from July indicated that Ford was planning to lay off staff. At the time, Bloomberg reported that the company was preparing to cut as many as 8,000 workers and that Ford Blue would be affected.

Ford created the Ford Blue and Ford Model E earlier this year; the company said in the division’s announcement that it will continue to build its ICE vehicle portfolio with Ford Blue to “drive growth and profitability,” while the Ford Model E will “accelerate innovation and delivery of breakthrough electric vehicles at scale.”

Ford is not the only auto company to lay off employees in recent weeks. Rivian laid off 6 percent of its staff, Ford-backed startup Argo AI laid off about 150 employees, and Tesla laid off workers who helped train its AI Autopilot system.

Here is a memo sent to staff from Ford and Farley:

ford team,

As you know, we are in the midst of a significant transformation of our company. Our industry and the business environment in which we operate is changing at an astonishing rate.

We have the opportunity to lead this exciting new era of electric and connected vehicles; creating the greatest growth and value for Ford and our stakeholders since we scaled the Model T; and continue to make a positive difference in the lives of our customers and society at large.

Building this future requires changing and reshaping nearly every aspect of the way we have operated for more than a century. It requires focus, clarity and speed. And, as we’ve discussed in recent months, that means redistributing resources and tackling our cost structure, which is uncompetitive versus traditional and new competitors.

We are committed to sharing information as decisions are made along the way. As we tackle all aspects of cost – from materials to quality-related – we informed several of our Ford teammates this week in the US, Canada and at FBS in India that their positions would be eliminated. Overall, we reduced the salaried workforce by about 2,000, as well as reduced agency personnel by about 1,000. This action follows a significant restructuring of Ford’s operations outside North America over the past few years.

We work differently than before, checking each team’s shift work statement as it relates to our Ford+ plans. We eliminate work, and reorganize and simplify functions across the business. You’ll hear more specifics from your business area leaders later this week.

None of this changes the fact that it is a difficult and emotional time. The people who left the company this week are friends and co-workers and we want to thank them for all they have done for Ford. We have an obligation to care for and support those affected – and we will fulfill this duty – providing not only significant benefits but also significant assistance in finding new career opportunities.

Thank you for everything you do for Ford. Please continue to support each other, including colleagues who leave the company, as we build a strong and sustainable future.

Bill and Jim

Update August 22, 4:26 PM ET: Added a memo sent to an employee.

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