Detroit Automakers Close in On Pre-Recession Employment Numbers

Detroit Automakers Close in On Pre-Recession Employment Numbers

It seems that the news in Detroit today, at least as far as the Big Three automakers are concerned, is more positive than we’ve seen in some time. Earlier this week, General Motors announced a hiring spree, saying it planned to add more than 4,000 new jobs. Furthermore, some analysts are predicting that within the next two years, GM’s workforce could swell from 77,000 to some 85,000 employees, almost matching pre-recession numbers.

At Ford, hiring plans are also underway, the Blue Oval looking to fill up to 7000 new positions in the next two years, though the hiring process isn’t scheduled to begin until later this year.

At Fiat controlled Chrysler, things are also looking more optimistic. The automaker is looking increasingly profitable and has announced that it wants to hire an additional 1,000 employees, on top of the 4,300 it recruited last year.

However, analysts are saying that these announcements are far more than just PR spin, they’re actually looking to be realistic targets. “It’s a goal they can meet,” said Rebecca Lindland from IHS Automotive. Of course, new jobs greatly depend on the Big Three meeting projected sales targets, though there are encouraging signs on that front too. US light vehicle sales are projected to grow to around 13 million units this year and with Japanese automakers struggling due to ongoing supply problems, Domestic manufacturers have an opportunity to increase market share.

GM plans to ramp up Volt production in the next few years, from the current 10,000 cars per annum to 25,000 – CEO Dan Akerson says he’d ultimately like to see more than 100,000 Volts roll off the assembly line, though recognizes that any increases also hinge on battery production. As it stands, the company has about 1,350 laid-off workers who will get priority on any new related job postings and according to a statement from the UAW, those workers should be back on the job by September. The UAW is also pressuring the General to reopen assembly plants in Janesville, Wisconsin and Spring Hill, Tennessee, as well as prevent the Shreveport, Lousiana plant (which currently makes the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon) from closing.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]