Ford Australia's new chief executive Marin Burela, has announced that Ford's Australian operation will be cutting another 450 jobs in Victoria - and the global economic crisis is being blamed.
Burela said that the job losses were unavoidable, if Ford was going to continue to operate profitably in Australia.
"This is a proactive step to position ourselves for strength,'' Mr Burela said.
The jobs will be cut from Ford's Geelong and Broadmeadows plants, with a view to bringing the total workforce number down below 4000.
Both blue and white collar workers will be affected, with voluntary redundancies initially being offered by Ford, with the intention to have the job cuts finalised before year end.
"We don't take these steps and these actions lightly, but we are committed to working with our employees and our union partners to provide a smooth transition for our people as we move forward.
"However we do need to take these steps. The steps are necessary actions to ensure that we right-size the business, to ensure that we can operate and operate effectively in a very dynamic and changing marketplace here in Australia.''
We've covered Ford's issues before, and while its easy to blame the global credit crisis for the current round of job cuts, the reality is that Australians are not buying Ford's large cars (Territory and Falcon) in viable numbers. Blame the price of fuel, the credit crisis or the ever changing face of the Australian new car market. Ford also lack a significant export program, (unlike Toyota and Holden) and this time around, the parent company in North America is also on the ropes, so hand-outs will be hard to come by.
Don't expect this to be the last of the bad news either.
Earlier this year Ford announced that 600 jobs would be lost from its Geelong Engine plant by 2010, when production of their superb I6 engine finishes. Additionally, a further 350 job losses were announced from Ford's Geelong and Broadeadows plants, although a similar number of jobs are expected to be created when local production of the Focus fires up in 2011.
[Source: Herald Sun]