Ford to cut a shift at Michigan Assembly Plant – The Detroit News
Ford Motor Co. is pulling the plug on a shift at its Michigan Assembly Plant amid slumping sales for electric and hybrid vehicles.
The Dearborn automaker on Thursday said it will indefinitely lay off 673 hourly employees and 27 salaried employees on the “C Crew” at its Wayne plant starting June 22. Ford said·the first group of impacted hourly employees will be redeployed to support summer vacation replacements in various southeast Michigan plants. The salaried employees will be transferred to other Ford facilities.
“Ford will be working to redeploy affected hourly employees and they will be considered first for southeast Michigan opportunities as they become available,” the automaker said in a statement.
“While today’s announcement of a shift reduction at our Michigan Assembly Plant is unfortunate, it is not completely unexpected,” Jimmy Settles, UAW-Ford vice president, said in a statement. “We are reminded from time to time that our industry is cyclical and volatile to market conditions. The UAW has a successful history of negotiating layoff, transfer and job security provisions that have protected tens of thousands of workers in our history.”
The Wayne factory employs about 5,100 and makes the Focus gas-powered car, Focus Electric and C-Max hybrid gasoline-electric car.
Sales of new electric cars and hybrids, according to automotive research and shopping site Edmunds.com, are at their lowest level since 2011 — the first full year of sales for the groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Nissan’s all-electric Leaf.
Ford’s Focus sales were down 14.5 percent last month compared to the same time a year ago, while March sales of its C-Max Hybrid were down 22.9 percent.
In January, U.S. President Barack Obama came to the plant to tout the resurgent American automotive industry, even as the plant was closed that week because of lagging demand for its small gasoline-powered and hybrid cars. Ford made the decision to close the plant to reduce supply of small cars before the White House approached the company about holding the event.
In December, General Motors Co. said it would be forced to lay off 610 workers this year at two Michigan factories because of lagging demand for small cars.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in May 2014 that it loses $14,000 on every electric Fiat 500 car it sells, about $4,000 more than the company’s previous estimation. “I hope you don’t buy it,” said Marchionne of the 500e.