Thousands of white collar, as well as blue collar, employees at Ford have taken buyout packages in the last year or so. But then the spigot got shut off. Now, with oil prices headed for the stratosphere and Ford’s F-Series pickups piling up on dealer lots, the automaker will resort to flat out layoffs. About 2,000 white-collar folks at Big Blue will lose their jobs by August 1, though some will undoubtedly be accounted for by attrition.
It’s painful medicine, but the company has been doing everything management knows how to do to resize the company for profitability since CEO Alan Mulally came on in September 2006. Ford last week had to abandon its target of reaching profitability by the end of 2009. The company’s European, Asian and South American businesses are doing quite well. But North America is dragging down profitability of both the auto business and Ford Motor Credit.