Sunday, February 15, 2009

Talking About a Stimulus and Automakers

I probably ought to have broken this up in little bits, but I did not. I can sum this up with one sharp, pungent thought: our Southern Senators wrongly assessed Detroit's problems with unions but then when have the Republicans not been forsook reality for their ideology.

"Toyota has not set a target on how many employees it hopes take the buyouts, Dillon said. About 4,500 people work at the Princeton plant.

“We do not expect large numbers to participate,” she said.

Those who take the buyouts will receive a lump sum of $20,000 and an amount equal to 10 weeks of their base pay. After that they will get two weeks of base pay for every year they have worked.

Along with the buyouts, workers in Princeton will start working 72 hours in a two-week period, rather than the usual 80. The new schedule will begin in April."

Parts supplier NTN lays off 200 in Columbus:

"Auto parts supplier NTN Driveshaft has laid off 200 people from its southern Indiana factory in Columbus, citing the slumping automotive industry and declining orders.

NTN administration manager Dennis Fogle said the company has seen a slowdown in orders since last April and that today's layoff was needed because no market improvement was being seen."
Toyota cost-cutting moves include Indiana:

"The company, which prides itself on avoiding layoffs, is in the process of eliminating 5,300 contract jobs in Japan. Contract workers lack most of the benefits given to regular salaried workers, as well as the tacit guarantee of lifetime employment.

The Detroit automakers, meanwhile, have laid off thousands of salaried and hourly workers as they struggle to survive a massive auto sales slowdown.

Other Japanese automakers are also slashing payrolls. On Monday, Nissan Motor Co., said it would cut 20,000 jobs worldwide, or 8.5 percent of its 235,000-strong global work force, by March 2010.

Toyota is grappling with plunging demand worldwide, especially in the U.S., and a strong yen, which cuts overseas profits of Japanese exporters like Toyota."

As part of the plan, PSA Peugeot Citroën and Renault, the two largest French carmakers, will each get a five-year loan of 3 billion euros at an interest rate of 6 percent, while Renault Trucks, which is owned by Volvo of Sweden, will receive a loan of 500 million euros."

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France said that the money should be used to invest in clean technology, and that “Renault and PSA have also committed not to close any production sites for the duration of their loan and to do whatever they can to avoid layoffs.”

Also on Monday, Nissan, the Japanese automaker controlled by Renault, announced the elimination of 20,000 jobs and forecast its first annual loss in nine years.

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Renault and Nissan, tied the French automaker’s troubles directly to the global credit squeeze.

***

Nissan’s announcement reflected an increasing sense of urgency among Japanese manufacturers as it becomes clear that the downturn and the strength of the yen are hitting Japan more severely than expected.

“In every planning scenario we built, our worst assumptions on the state of the global economy have been met or exceeded, with the continuing grip on credit and declining consumer confidence being the most damaging factors,” Mr. Ghosn said in a statement.

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