Ford Shedding Jobs at Detroit Plant

Ford Shedding Jobs at Detroit PlantFord Shedding Jobs at Detroit Plant

Ford Motor Company has said it will lay off about 700 workers at a Detroit-area plant making compact and compact hybrid cars, responding to a dip in demand for such vehicles amid lower fuel prices, Reuters reported on Friday.

Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan is cutting a shift and will run on two shifts beginning June 22, said Ford spokeswoman Kristina Adamski to the wire service.

The plant makes three versions of the Ford Focus compact car and the C-Max compact hybrid and C-Max plug-in hybrid car. Sales of hybrid and gasoline-powered small cars have taken a hit in recent months as tumbling crude oil prices sent gasoline prices dramatically lower.

Focus’ US sales in March were down 14.5 percent and for the first three months of the year sales of about 53,000 units were up only 2 percent compared with last year’s first quarter. C-Max sales of about 4,300 through March were down 23 percent from last year’s first quarter.

Ford said it would offer summer replacement jobs to some of the Michigan Assembly workers and work to find all of them full-time employment at the company’s plants. Ford said it has “high confidence” it can find new jobs for all laidoff workers within a year.

The layoffs will affect 675 hourly and 25 salaried workers. The hourly workers are represented by the United Auto Workers union and are paid the so-called “second-tier” wage that is less than longtime hourly workers.

The layoffs have been marked by the general dip in demand from car buyers for energy efficient cars due to the continuing decline in sales. The current layoffs seem to be part of more of a restricting considering events than a new trend.