Re: GM's white-collar job cuts: Who's out, what layoff process looks like
There will be more job cuts, layoffs and buyouts in the near future as more and more Americans get priced out of the new SUV/truck markets. Unfortunately, "smart restructuring" is coming to Ford as well.
I got out of the new car market long ago and haven't bought a new vehicle since 1978. I found that the used and CPO markets offer quality vehicles at affordable prices and I happily avoid paying megabucks for the latest features (I can even get a car with RWD and a manual transmission!). I also drive my cars well into 6 digits. I am not alone and those strategies are trending up. That cannot bode well for auto companies that have tilted toward high-margin models.
Working people may be experiencing full employment now but they have also experienced stagnant wages for three decades. Product decisions that placate Wall Street have made new passenger vehicles less and less affordable to more and more people. Ford made profits on cars but not enough to satisfy their masters and the Ford family shareholders so low margins of profit are no longer good enough to keep the gravy train rolling. By gearing up to produce fewer vehicles at higher prices, Ford runs the risk of driving down a dead-end street. No wonder heads are rolling at headquarters.
Meanwhile, Ford is riding high with their expensive trucks flying out of the showrooms and no end in sight for this rush toward the high-end. The short-term looks good with Ranger on the street and Bronco on the horizon. Thinking long-term recalls that the boom-bust cycle in our economy is a feature, not a bug; it has been around for a couple-a-hundred years. Optimism is good. That's what makes the wheels go round. But when the wheels slow down, it's always the working stiff - blue or white collar - who gets laid off, not upper management and not shareholders.