Alcoa to cut 6,500 jobs, most in automotive business, in $150 million restructuring

detnews.com

The company said it plans to cut about 3,500 jobs in its automotive divisions. The cuts include previously announced plans to shutter its Hawesville, Ky., automotive plant, as well as cutting 2,500 jobs in its AFL automotive wire harness business.

Besides the cuts in its automotive businesses, Alcoa said it plans to cut 1,000 jobs at its extrusion plants in the U.S. and Europe, which make fabricated aluminum; trim 1,500 jobs from its packaging and consumer business, which includes Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil; and cut 490 positions in its primary metals and global mill products divisions as well as some corporate jobs.

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Alcoa spokesman Kevin Lowery said the aluminum maker has been hit by North American automakers scaling back production amid slumping sales.

Earlier this week, Ford Motor Co., the nation’s No. 2 automaker, announced it was cutting another 1,700 salaries positions atop 1,000 salaried job cuts it announced in April. Ford’s U.S. business was off 4 percent through May.

Meanwhile, General Motors Corp., the No. 1 automaker, has announced it would close plants and eliminate 25,000 jobs over the next three years. General Motors said U.S. auto sales were down 5.2 percent through the first five months of the year.

Then there’s a bit of a discussion about all the incentives the car companies are offering.

Ford is offering employees and retirees up to $1,000 in cash to entice friends, relatives and neighbors to buy vehicles with employee discounts. General Motors has tried to boost sales by offering customers the same discounts it gives its employees.

No evaluation of this strategy, though. I’d be curious to know how long this kind of “pipeline stuffing” can go on. In general, this is a good short term strategy but in the long term a recipe for a bigger collapse when it comes. Is there something about the auto industry that makes this more than just putting off the inevitable pain for a bigger crash later?

Some other articles about where the car companies are going with their incentives programs and with their layoffs are to be found here:

GM may extend employee discount through end of July

Ford is cutting 1,750 salaried jobs, may cut factory jobs next this article touches on other car companies too, and starts out with an interesting graph that takes some time to interpret.

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