Ford Motor Co. might hire more than the 12,000 new workers it committed to create in its 2011 contract with the United Auto Workers union after logging stronger growth than expected, Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, said in an interview with Bloomberg News. Hinrichs said that Ford has grown faster than they predicted it would in 2011.
He remarked that Ford’s president hiring is ahead of schedule and they might “overshoot” the 12,000 hourly jobs committed in contract. The carmaker recently disclosed it hired 2,000 new workers at its Claycomo site in Missouri, spending $1.1 billion to add output of the Transit cargo van. The site is already building Ford’s F-series trucks.
Ford remarked it now has completed around 75 percent of its hiring commitment, which is due 2015. The carmaker has said it employed 84,000 people in North America at the end of 2013, up from 75,000 at the end of 2011. The hiring helps bring Ford’s labor costs as new employees get just slightly more than half of the $27-per-hour rate of older workers.
Hinrichs said that over one-in-five Ford hourly workers in the US are paid with the lower wage, including 26 percent of its Claycomo workforce. He told Bloomberg that the 2,000 new jobs and hiring at the site have increased the entry level percentage at Claycomo, thereby lowering the costs of labor and overhead.
He remarked that lower wages paid to new workers has been a vital part of the “more competitive cost structure in North America.” Ford posted a record $8.8 billion pretax profit in North America in 2013, thanks to high demand for F-series pickups, Escape SUVs and Fusion family sedans.
That figure dropped to $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2014, from $2.4 billion in the same period in 2013, as Ford invested to retool two F-series sites to prepare production of its aluminum version. [source: Bloomberg]