Analysts Speculate That After GM Workforce Cuts, Ford Is Next

Last week, GM announced that it plans to lay off about 15 percent of its workforce, or 14,000 people in total, and shutter five plants beginning next year: the Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit; and the Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio. It will also be closing two propulsion plants: its Baltimore Operations in White Marsh, Maryland; and Warren Transmission Operations in Warren, Michigan. Most of the cuts will occur in the company’s struggling sedan business.

Now, it may be Ford’s turn next. The company is having a hard time pleasing its investors, as of late, and has plans to embark on a restructuring. Despite posting better-than-expected third quarter numbers, sales remain down from the third quarter of 2017. And while Ford is still profitable, shares of the automaker are down around 25 percent this year, and industry analysts are speculating that the company will undertake some workforce cuts early next year in an effort to boost profitability. While Ford remains successful in North America, it has been struggling to carve out market share abroad. As with GM, the sales of sedans are down, and Ford plans to concentrate on building up its portfolio of electric and autonomous vehicles.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas has speculated that Ford’s cuts could exceed the 8,000 salaried employees targeted by rival General Motors Co., according to the Detroit News.

“This is not just a GM or a Ford thing,” Jonas wrote. “There are bigger forces at work driving global OEMs to rethink the fundamental idea of supporting increasingly obsolete segments, propulsion systems, and geographic regions.”

Thus far, the company is denying any plans to downsize.

“As we have said, we are undertaking restructuring activities that could result in potential EBIT charges of $11 billion, with cash-related effects of $7 billion, over the next five years,” Ford spokeswoman Karen Hampton said in a statement. “These actions will come largely outside of North America. This includes the targeted and thoughtful approach we are taking to the redesign of our global salaried workforce.”