Auto News for May 17 – Ford Job Cuts Announced

 Ford announced it will cut 10 percent of its salaried workforce in North America and Asia Pacific or about 1,400 jobs. The reduction will be carried out by offers of early retirement or “special separation packages.” Ford has come under pressure from shareholders and some board members to buff up its stock price. Last September, Ford said it would be looking for ways to save about $3 billion a year for the next three years as costs increase and sales move lower after a long period of record demand. “Full details about the voluntary packages and how the program will work will be communicated with employees in early June,” the automaker said. In the early going on Wall Street, Ford shares were down nearly one and one half percent.

 Auto sales are also on the decline in Europe, down 6.8 percent in April, and off a whopping 20 percent in the U.K. due to changes in the excise tax. For Europe, the setback was the largest since a 10 percent decline in March of 2013.

  AAA projects that 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend. That is one million more travelers than last year taking to the roads, skies, rails and water, creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005. “The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending, and many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel this Memorial Day.” The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29.

 A new survey from CarGurus shows that key aspects of the ‘first car’ buying experience have changed for the younger generation. Not only were Baby Boomers more involved in selecting their first car compared to Millennials, they also were far more likely to have contributed to the purchase cost. 65 percent of Baby Boomers surveyed said they paid for some or all of their first car, while only 37 percent of Millennials said they contributed to the cost of their first car. The survey also found that while Millennials were more likely to be given the car by a family member, it was not as a gift per se, but rather as a necessity to allow them to fulfill responsibilities. Since this generation was more likely to be given their first car, they were just as likely to not have a choice in their first car.



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