(John D. Stoll & Mike Colias – Wall Street Journal)
Faced with softening U.S. car sales and mounting investor skepticism about Detroit’s ability to weather the first industry downturn in nearly a decade, auto executives are facing a tough choice in who to please – Wall Street or the White House.
Detroit has been an engine of growth for U.S. employment since the financial crisis, with General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV adding tens of thousands of jobs to keep pace with growing demand and fund autonomous-car engineering and other moonshot programs. Earlier this year, the auto makers have promised to add head count at certain factories in response to criticism from President Donald Trump.
Those executives are quickly retreating. GM and Ford are making cuts to American workforces that could far outpace the job commitments made in recent months amid political pressure. Armed with union contracts that were reworked a decade ago, domestic car companies can respond more rapidly to investor concerns. Click here to read more.