Early retirement buyouts are a good thing for automakers beleaguered by huge workforces, right?
Not necessarily, according to a survey cosponsored by the Center for Automotive Research out of Ann Arbor, Mich. and Advanced Technology Services Inc. of Peoria, Ill. We all know that downsizing is a necessary evil for most in the automotive industry. According to the study, however, executives believe a skilled labor shortage to be one of the biggest problems facing the industry — one that could cost the Big 3 millions of dollars. The worry is that as workers with 30 and 40 years of experience exit stage right, automakers and suppliers are left with an inexperienced and less capable workforce, resulting in more overtime, less production and unhappy customers.

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