93.9 BayFM Geelong
Ford’s decision to shed 440 jobs from it’s Geelong and Melbourne plants was announced in an email to its staff this morning. Here is the full text of that email:
July 17 2012
This morning we are sharing with you the difficult, but necessary decision to reduce our production and employee numbers to allow us to more closely align production with current market demand.
Article Continues Below
Production will change from 209 vehicles per day to 148 vehicles per day in November this year, in a direct response to changing customer preferences, which continue to drive an industry-wide decline in the sale of large vehicles. It is important to understand that this is not a Falcon or a Ford problem – sales across the large car segment are down 25% compared to the same time last year, which is the continuation of a decade-long decline.
As a result of the reduced production, we will be offering up to 440 redundancies across the business. While the employee reductions will primarily be from manufacturing, there will also be efficiencies across other areas of the company as well. Redundancies will be offered on a voluntary basis first but, if we don’t reach the required numbers, a compulsory redundancy program may follow.
We understand that, unfortunately, the impact on our entire team will be significant, however implementing this structural change is essential to ensure the health of our business long-term, which is important for our employees, our suppliers and the communities in which we operate.
All employees who take up the redundancy will receive a competitive redundancy package, including training and career counselling. We will work closely with them and our union partners to help our employees make the transition successfully. We trust you will treat your fellow colleagues with dignity and respect as we move throughout this process.
Although the total number of vehicles will decrease, we will continue to manufacture a more profitable mix of vehicles in order to maximise returns in each segment. One key element of the production changes is to increase Territory’s share of production to almost 50 per cent of total daily vehicles. This will allow the company to capitalise on its continued popularity and increasing SUV sales.
We are also moving ahead with our recently announced plans to invest a further $103 million across our Falcon and Territory vehicle lines, which will come to market in 2014, and remain committed to the Ford brand and continuing to produce vehicles in Australia.
You may well question how this announcement conflicts with our recent communication about improved vehicle sales during June. The reality is that, despite achieving our highest Falcon sales in eight months, sales are still down on prior years. In recent months, we have been balancing our production levels with market demand by implementing a number of down days each month. We have, in fact, also announced a further four down days in August as we move towards this structural change. This is not an efficient manner in which to run our business and it creates uncertainty for our own team and our suppliers.
We are sharing this news today with our union partners, Government contacts and the media. A copy of the media release is attached below for your information. We expect it will generate significant media attention over the next 24-48 hours and we appreciate that this will add to the affect this announcement will have on you. We ask that, as much as possible, you remain focused on helping us to continue to build our brand as we move through this process. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your manager or HR representative.
Thank you for all you continue to do for our business even during tough times like this.