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Auto Industry on Hiring Binge

Domestics and imports both putting out “Help Wanted” signs.

by on Jul.07, 2011

VW has already hired 2,000 workers at its new Chattanooga plant and will add still more for a planned second shift.

It seemed like the best of times; following its takeover by the German Daimler AG, Chrysler counted nearly 71,000 hourly workers on its U.S. payroll.  But by the time the partnership collapsed and the maker was rapidly plunging into bankruptcy, in 2009, the blue collar workforce had slipped to just 21,000.

The situation wasn’t all that different across town.  As the industry sank into its worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and many analysts began to doubt whether Detroit’s Big Three makers would survive, the makers raced to close plants, abandon unpopular brands and slash employment.  Once employing close to a million hourly and salaried workers worldwide, General Motors emerged from its own run through Chapter 11 with a workforce barely a tenth that size.

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But two years later, there’s a very different situation.  Chrysler, for one, has boosted its blue collar headcount by more than 2,000 since hitting bottom in ’09, and several company sources tell that the maker is likely to keep rebuilding its factory rolls, especially if sales and share keep rebounding.  GM and Ford are also hiring.

And the “Help Wanted” signs aren’t just out in Detroit.  The new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee has already hired 2,000 workers, while that number will grow by at least another thousand when the maker adds an anticipated second shift at the sprawling factory, which is producing an all-new version of the midsize Passat designed specifically for the American market.


Indian Maker Tata Turns To Detroit For Engineering Know-How

Maker plans to hire 400 American engineers.

by on Dec.06, 2010

Tata Technologies, part of the Indian conglomerate producing the little Tata Nano, is looking to hire 100s of Detroit engineers.

Tata Technologies, a subsidiary of India’s Tata Group, plans to hire 400 engineers by the end of the year at its technical center near Detroit to help with engineering projects for car makers in North America.

Dan Saad, Tata Technologies’ director of communications in North America, said the Indian firm is looking at candidates with engineering, design and in product lifecycle management experience.

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“The 400 positions are currently open in our HR database to be filled by January 3 that are a result of new automotive program work our engineering and our PLM/Consulting groups have won over the past
months,” Saad said.

“The positions are at automotive client sites – about 80% in metro Detroit, about 20% elsewhere in the U.S. We have about 500 employees in the U.S. now, and about 350” are assigned to the company’s Novi, Michigan offices, he said..


New Chrysler Hirings Help Push Aggressive Product Plans

Maker adding 1,000 jobs at Chrysler Technical Center – and more to come.

by on Dec.01, 2010

Chrysler builds its payroll as it rebuilds its product line-up with models like the new 200.

Chrysler is backing up CEO Sergio Marchionne’s sweeping plans for overhauling the company’s product line-up with an infusion of new employees.

The automaker confirms it has hired nearly 1,000 employees at its Technical Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan according to executives responsible for implementation of the company’s product plans.  And still more new hires are expected, according to senior Chrysler officials.

“That’s a pretty decent number,” said Chrysler spokesman Mike Palese, who confirmed the 1,000 jobs figure, adding the new employees included a mix of full-time and contract workers hired between October 2009 and October, 2010.

Senior Chrysler engineers said the company needed to add engineers and technicians to help with the overhaul of the maker’s product line, which had been neglected by the company’s old partner, Daimler AG, and then starved by its subsequent owner, the equity giant Cerberus Capital Management, which purchased the company in the summer of 2007.

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Chrysler veterans say that the maker was virtually incapable of sustaining its existing product line-up, never mind expanding or updating its offerings by the time Chrysler plunged into bankruptcy, last year.  Cerberus ceded control as a result of that Chapter 11 filing, the government, in turn, turning control over to Fiat.  The Italian maker currently holds a 20% stake in Chrysler, but that will grow to as much as 35% if Fiat meets a series of benchmarks, such as growing Chrysler sales overseas.


Chrysler Puts the “Help Wanted” Sign Out

Maker boosting production, speeding up product development.

by on Jun.09, 2010

Chrysler has already announced plans to boost employment by nearly 2,700 so far this year.

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Even before Chrysler and its former partner, Daimler, split up their ill-fated marriage, the U.S. maker began a massive downsizing that only accelerated when Chrysler plunged into bankruptcy, last year.

But, suddenly, the Help Wanted signs are going out in front of the maker’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  And not only is Chrysler bulking up at the plants it predicts will boost sales, but it is also bringing in workers to help speed up its product development system.

Just since the beginning of the year, the maker has announced plans to add nearly 2,700 blue and white-collar employees, notes the Detroit Free Press, and the pace is expected to increase in the months to come.  While many of Chrysler’s new hirings will be done on a temporary or contract basis, the maker also appears to be looking for a number of full-time employees.