Mazda Reducing Workforce Due to Financial Woes
Japanese automaker will offer buyout packages before proceeding with layoffs.
These are not the best times for Mazda. The small, independent Japanese automaker is projected to post another loss for its 2011 financial year, its fourth year in a row bleeding red ink and the largest loss in the past decade. This comes on the heels of Ford reducing its stake in Mazda in late 2010, providing the company with less of a financial cushion.
Consequently, Mazda has taken steps to look for a cash-flow infusion, such as seeking to license its SkyActiv fuel-efficiency technology. Mazda is now looking to cut costs by reducing its workforce of 701 U.S. employees. According to a company memo, Mazda will begin offering employees voluntary buyout packages before looking into layoffs if the company doesn’t get enough volunteers.
The buyout packages will consist of separation pay, a lump sum based on years of service, and assistance finding a new job. Employees will need to apply by mid-April, and Mazda will decide by the end of April if employees who apply are eligible to receive the package.
Mazda will also implement a “redeployment process” to restructure the company to achieve a smaller workforce by mid-May. If costs are not reduced to within Mazda's goals by then, workers will be dismissed. Those laid-off employees won’t receive the benefits offered to the volunteers, and Mazda will start notifying those losing their jobs by around the end of May.
The only silver lining -- at least for those still at the company -- is that the U.S. market is still relatively strong for Mazda. Total sales for 2011 were up from 2010, according to The Wall Street Journal, and the automaker has the eagerly awaited new 2013 Mazda CX-5 in the pipeline, with plans to sell at least 50,000 by year’s end.
Since Mazda and Ford have parted ways it will be interesting to see if Ford can stay afloat on their own. After seeing the 2012 models I'm betting not and it will be a matter of time before their sales go down and Ford goes back to it's old ways of doing business.
I think Mazda has more to be worried about than Ford. Still, Ford has had a weird history of "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory". Mazda engineering most certainly helped out with the Duratec engines, and I am sure that SKYACTIV would have been more than beneficial in the new Focus and Fiesta. It would have been beneficial in the Mazda 2 for that matter.
mazda and fiat in a partnership!? what do you think?Yes: Alfa Romeo (FIAT is their parent company) styling, mazda diesel technology. A perfect match!
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