Ford CEO Jim Farley warned last week of “storm clouds” for auto workers as the eventual transition to electric vehicles will require fewer workers — 40 percent fewer, according to Farley.
Farley also said Ford needs to make more parts in-house, presumably to help reduce job losses.
From the Financial Times (sub required): “It takes 40 per cent less labour to make an electric car, so . . . we have to insource, so that everyone has a role in this growth,” Farley said at a conference in Detroit focused on improving racial diversity in the auto industry. “We have a whole new supply chain to roll out, in batteries and motors and electronics, and diversity has to play an even greater role in that,” Farley told civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, whose Rainbow Push Coalition sponsored the conference.
Ford is aiming to have 50 percent of its global sales be EVs by 2030.
It’s widely expected that the production of EVs will require fewer workers because EVs require fewer parts. In 2018, the United Auto Workers union estimated that it will lose 35,000 jobs — the union represents about 400,000 workers.
A report out of Germany suggests that the country could lose 400,000 jobs over the next decade during a shift to EV production.
Farley also said earlier this year that the company’s workforce is a bit too bloated. Three thousand full-time and contract employees were cut in August. Ford employed 183,000 people at the end of 2021.
Ford, like other OEMs, is partnering with suppliers for battery production. Farley pointed out that the company is undergoing a shift it hasn’t seen in six decades.
“If Henry Ford came back to life he would have thought the last 60 years weren’t that exciting, but he would love it right now because we’re totally reinventing the company,” Farley said, according to the Financial Times.
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