In a double-whammy for North American autoworkers, Ford has announced plans to close a number of plants to keep idle capacity to a minimum even as it assumes responsibility for 5,000 of 7,500 employees of spun-off supplier Visteon. Ford President James Padilla says, "We will align our capacity with demand and see how that falls." What's interesting to us in all this is that once upon a time, it made financial sense for Ford to spin off Visteon, but its rationale for the Visteon bailout is that the motor company will have access to cheaper parts.
One of the first casualties of Ford's slashing plan of a tack was a casting factory in Windsor, ON, cutting 1,100 jobs. What's interesting to us is to see exactly what Ford has in mind here; where will the ex-Visteon people fit in, and how much of FoMoCo's existing capacity will be refilled? We're exceedingly curious to see where Ford comes out on the other end with this. Recently appointed head of Ford North America Mark Fields, whose gig begins in earnest Oct. 1st, declined to discuss his plans, but almost cryptically said, "The approach I've taken in Europe is a realistic approach." Read: heads are gonna roll, kids. Heads are gonna roll.
Mark Fields Makin' Tough Love to Ford: Big Cuts Coming [Internal]