General Motors’ Australian arm, Holden, will be completely ceasing manufacturing in Australia in 2017, laying off hundreds of employees in the process. Ironically, rival Ford is looking to take advantage of the engineering talent being let go from the brand, and is planning to hire a bountiful amount of engineers that will be relieved from duty to help develop new Ford products for the Asian market, specifically China.
As Cars Guide Australia reported, Ford plans to bring on 150 engineers to assist in the development of new Chinese products. Holden just recently let go 200 of its Melbourne-based engineers of the 400 it plans to lay off before manufacturing officially peters out in 2017.
The fact that Ford is taking on the 150 new engineers is a sign of hope for the talent. The move will also enable The Blue Oval to continue being the largest employer of automotive engineers in the country, topping Holden with over 1,200 people on its vehicle development team.
Ford’s engineering boss of the Asia-Pacific region, Trevor Worthington, was quoted as saying that the brand will be “happy” to help Holden’s talented engineers find new positions within The Blue Oval. Worthington also said Australian engineers are trained to “world class” standards, and as Ford prepares to ramp up work on global vehicles, there happens to be a ready supply of talent Ford is more than happy to pick up.
“The growth in our Australian engineering workforce over the next six to eight months will be about 150 engineers”, Worthing was quoted saying. Because like Holden, Ford is also restructuring its business in Australia, which will result in major layoffs.
When asked about what areas of expertise Ford was interested in, Worthington went on to say, “We will get the right people for the right job. Whether it’s chassis engineers, powertrain engineers, calibration engineers, instrument engineers … the work is cyclical.” He also added that the Ford engineering workforce will remain stable at about 1,200 employees for the foreseeable future.
Holden will have less than 150 engineers on its development team once it ceases Australian manufacturing operations. Toyota, by comparison, is expected to have even fewer engineers for its development operations, at around 75.