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Detroit automakers downshift workforce, lineups

Ford parted ways with CEO Mark Fields in May despite strong earnings. The company is offering buyouts to 1,400 administrative workers — a process expected to be completed by in August — and temporarily laid off 130 workers at its Ohio Assembly in Avon Lake.

“The industry is under stress now and is doing what it should have been doing during the prior two decades — thinking about problems before they turn into disasters,” said Patrick Anderson, principal and CEO of consultants Anderson Economic Group in Lansing. “There is no clearer example of that than the departure of Mark Fields at Ford after he had produced record profits … By the old rules, he would not only have stayed on, he would have been showered with praise.”