Ford Announces $1.6 Billion Investment in Mexico

Ford announces $1.6 billion investment in Mexico, derided by Trump

A Ford logo is pictured at a store of the automaker, in Mexico City, Mexico, April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

DETROIT/WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co (F.N) on Tuesday announced it would invest $1.6 billion to build more small cars in Mexico, starting in 2018, triggering a fresh blast of criticism from Republican front-runner Donald Trump. Read more of this post

Ford Salaried Workers to Get Raises & Bonuses

Associated Press – Thu, Jan 19, 2012

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is showing confidence in its turnaround and the U.S. economy by giving pay raises and bonuses to 20,000 white-collar workers mainly in the U.S. and Canada.

Workers got letters from President of the Americas Mark Fields last week saying they’ll get 2.7 percent base pay increases on April 1. They’ll also get bonuses this year based on their individual performances, spokeswoman Marcey Evans said.

Ford made $6.6 billion in the first three quarters of last year. It will report fourth-quarter earnings later this month. The company’s U.S. sales rose 11 percent last year. It has made a huge turnaround since 2006, when it lost $12.6 billion and had to borrow more than $20 billion to stay in business.

Salaried workers didn’t get pay raises last year, but many were granted performance bonuses. They got only merit pay in 2010 and no raises or bonuses were given in 2009, Evans said.

The raises are necessary to keep Ford’s pay competitive with other Fortune 100 companies, Evans said. Each year, Ford studies pay at competitors and other companies, she said.

Ford also raised its matching contribution to the salaried employees’ 401(k) retirement plan. The company now pays 60 cents for every dollar an employee contributes, up to 5 percent of their salary. This year the contribution will rise to 80 cents, Evans said.

She would not say how much the raises, bonuses and additional contributions will cost the company.

The raises rankled some United Auto Workers members because they did not get annual pay raises in a new four-year contract negotiated with the company last year. During the contract talks, the company told union negotiators that it didn’t want to give raises to avoid recurring annual expenses.

But the workers got signing bonuses and lump-sum profit sharing payments that are worth at least $16,700 over the four-year contract. Workers at General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC agreed to similar contracts with payments smaller than those given to Ford workers.

“I’m disappointed to hear that,” Mark Caruso, president of a UAW local at a factory in Saline, Mich., said of the white-collar raises. Caruso said morale already is bad among workers at his plant west of Detroit. A Ford holding company is trying to sell the factory to an auto parts supplier.

A UAW spokeswoman in Detroit said Thursday that she would check with her superiors to see if the union will comment on the white-collar raises.

The pay raise announcement was reported early Thursday by the Detroit Free Press.

Ford compensation records obtained by The Associated Press last year show that UAW-represented hourly workers have seen larger increases in pay and benefits over the last decade than many white-collar workers.

The UAW, according to the records, was able to protect longtime factory workers from changes to health care, overtime and other benefit cuts that salaried workers were forced to take. The average hourly worker at Ford received wages, benefits and overtime totaling $109,020 in 2010, up 17 percent from 1999. But the average salaried factory supervisor made $99,760 in wages and benefits, up just 2 percent in the same period, the records showed.

Made in America: Trend Against Outsourcing Brings Jobs Back From China

Manufacturing is now underway at Lincolnton Furniture in North Carolina

Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:59 AM EST

By Sopan Deb
Rock Center

The United States may be on the verge of bringing back manufacturing jobs from China.

Harold Sirkin, along with Michael Zinser and Douglas Hohner (all experts from the Boston Consulting Group – a leading business advising firm), says that outsourcing manufacturing to China is not as cheap as it used to be and that the United States is poised to bring back jobs from China. The three consultants first reached this conclusion in a recently published study titled “Made in America, Again: Why Manufacturing Will Return to the U.S.”

Many companies, especially in the auto and furniture industries, moved plants overseas once China opened its doors to free trade and foreign investment in the last few decades. Labor was cheaper for American companies – less than $1 per hour according to the BCG report. Today, labor costs in China have risen dramatically, and shipping and fuel costs have skyrocketed. As China’s economy has expanded, and China has built new factories all across the country, the demand for workers has risen. As a result, wages are up as new companies compete to hire the best workers.

“The tilt is now getting lower,” Sirkin says. “We think somewhere around 2015 it’ll look flat and may start to tilt in the U.S. favor at that point in time.”

By 2015,  it will only be about 10 percent cheaper to manufacture in China.

“We have to recognize one thing,” Sirkin told NBC’s Harry Smith in an interview to air Monday on Rock Center with Brian Williams. “The average Chinese worker is about a quarter as productive as the average U.S. worker.”

“It’ll be a major impact. Our projections are, when you take the manufacturing jobs and then the service jobs that get created alongside those, that we will add two to three million jobs to the U.S. workforce.”

The U.S. is already seeing examples of this – starting  in Lincolnton, North Carolina.

Rock Center has been following Bruce Cochrane of Lincolnton Furniture as he brings his family business back to the U.S. and re-opens the family furniture plant. Cochrane was invited to the White House last week for a forum on job creation with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

“Now, you don’t have be a big manufacturer to insource jobs,” Obama said.  “Bruce Cochrane’s family had manufactured furniture in North Carolina for five generations.  But in 1996, as jobs began shifting to Asia, the family sold their business, and Bruce spent time in China and Vietnam as a consultant for American furniture makers.  But while he was there, he noticed something he didn’t expect: their consumers actually wanted to buy things made in America. So he came home and started a new company, Lincolnton Furniture, which operates out of the old family factories. He’s even re-hired many of the former workers from his family business. “

According to BCG, another manufacturer, Sleek Audio, moved production of its headphones from Chinese suppliers to a plant in Florida. Ford Motor Company is bringing back 2,000 jobs from China after striking an agreement with the United Auto Workers. Sirkin says it’s good news for the economy even though wages will be lower in those jobs than they were previously.

Sirkin believes fears that United States manufacturing is in decline are overstated and notes that the U.S. is still a manufacturing giant. In 2010, China provided 19.8 percent of global manufacturing value added. The U.S. accounted for a marginally less 19.4 percent, which, according to Boston Consulting, was “a share that has declined only slightly over the past three decades.”

Editor’s Note: Harry Smith’s full report, ‘Made in America,’ airs Monday, January 16 at 10pm/9c on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.

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