The automotive industry is one of the leading ones at the global level that is subject to significant advancements as far as its current and future potentials are concerned. Currently, the global industry consists of several companies specialized in car manufacturing, as well as the ones involved in the marketing and distribution of automobile products, an aspect that has seen increased competition amongst industrial players. Volkswagen and Ford Motors are amongst the most profitable carmakers globally, primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. One of the reasons behind their success is how they run their HR department. Additionally, the 21st-century workplace is more individualized and employee-focused. Trends such as offering flexible schedules to employees with family obligations or tuition aid to entry-level staff members with the aim of opening up new job opportunities have become more common for employers. With this in mind, it is evident that much is expected from HRM experts since employee-tailored workplaces are likely to continue. However, different companies are applying varied strategies in different regions for effective employee performance. Today’s market conditions broaden the HR’s traditional obligations of managing payrolls, benefits, as well as basic workplace procedures as highlighted by Ford motors’ operations in the United Kingdom, an aspect that offers a learning platform for potential employees and employers for the future.
The United Kingdom is the largest exporter of cars in the world and the third-largest employer in the subsector, therefore, the country is the best market for employment. The United Kingdom hosts some of the most prestigious automobile brands even though a majority of them are foreign-owned. According to Giampieri et al. (2019), as of 2019, the UK automotive market hosted an estimated ten car manufacturing entities that produced a total of 1.52 million passenger cars, thus contributing to 70 billion euros in turnover to the overall economy by the end of 2018. Additionally, in regards to international trading, the export volumes of passenger cars were 1.35 million units in 2016, which was a record high figure (Giampieri et al. (2019). However, these figures declined to 1.24 million two years later because of BREXIT. As explained by Bailey and De Propris, (2018), more than half of all foreign sales of all vehicles exported from the UK markets between 2015 and 2017 were sold in the EU, therefore, the decline in sales because of the BREXIT issue was expected. However, over time, trade agreements have been formulated to reduce the negative influences of the exit. From the above information, it is clear that the UK automotive industry is healthy and highly competitive, an aspect that is important for individuals seeking employment opportunities in one of the most lucrative subsectors of the global market. As per (Statista, 2020), the UK automotive market has employed approximately 825,000 individuals. Additionally, projections show that the UK market is bound to grow; therefore, it is a prime industry for employment in different automotive subsectors.
There are benefits and disadvantages of working in the UK’s automotive sector. The Primary advantage of working in the UK automotive market is that it provides more employment opportunities for foreign employees. From the global statistics, the U.S automotive industry seems to be the most profitable sector as compared to the U.K; however, plain statistics fail to show the true employment potential of the U.K presently and in the future. A study by Mohanty, Vivekanandhan, Pin, and Misra (2019) showed that the United States is currently considered the third highest motor vehicle and parts consumer in the world today in addition to being the second-largest employer in the sector. On the other hand, the UK was the largest motor vehicle consumer in Europe (pre-BREXIT) ahead of France, with sales of 2.2 million units in 2019 in addition to employing over 810,000 employees. Although the light vehicle sales in the U.S is on the rise, the increased revenue failed to have a progressive effect on American domestic auto production sub-sector, which was down by about 10% between 2017 and 2018. During this period, the number of motor vehicles and parts manufacturing employees amounted to 1,004,000 in March 2018, up from about 1,001,400 in March 2017. However, for a potential employee, the employment opportunities are not as open despite high industrial performance considering the automotive infrastructure in the U.S already peaked in the 1940s to 1990s. In 2013, the UK automotive industry employed an estimated 731,000 individuals, a figure that has been growing exponentially from 770,000 in 2014, 799,000 in 2015, 814,000 in 2016, 814, 000 in 2017, and 823,000 in 2018. The figures presented above represent an increase of about 13% in six years. It is for this reason that the UK market is a better location for employment compared to the U.S., which is generally considered to be the best based on its profitability. Indeed, the UK is a much better country to set up new employment for an individual with a family because the opportunities are more available.
Another advantage of working in the UK automotive industry is the government’s support based on sectorial contribution to the country’s GDP. As of the end of the 2018 financial year, the automotive industry contributed 18.6 billion British pounds to the economy, making it the second-year end to end that the industry revenue had dropped after peaking in 2016 when contributions amounted to 22 billion British pounds. During the same year, the U.S automotive industry contributed an estimated 3.5% of the county’s economy, which is considerably less compared to that of the automotive industry in the UK. Besides, the UK government is currently developing means, such as reduced taxations, progressive export regulatory agreements, and employee welfare discounts, to rejuvenate the automotive industry, making it a more lucrative market to work in for both local and foreign employees.
The drop in productivity over the last two years is one of the disadvantages of working in the UK. The drop has been a consequence of the influence of politics, especially BREXIT, on the UK economy. For years, the UK was widely perceived as a strategic location to penetrate the rest of the European markets; however, the BREXIT brought this notion to doubt. At the beginning of 2017, Bailey and De Propris (2018) indicated that the automobile industry in the UK was forecasted to grow by about 3.2% by the end of 2020. Nevertheless, due to BREXIT, the growth went down by over 1% by the end of both 2017 and 2018, with the biggest losers identified as the foreign automakers with vehicle manufacturing plants within the country. This drop in production directly influences the number of individuals who could be employed by automotive industry players.
Currently, Ford Motors and Volkswagen are the second and third leading motoring companies in the world respectively, and present the best employee benefits. Per Statista (2020), by the end of 2018, Ford Motors had a 7.59% market share second only to Toyota. On the other hand, despite its diesel emissions testing scandal of 2015, Volkswagen is the third-largest vehicle manufacturer globally with a market share of 5.59% and the most profitable European based enterprise in sales in the United States. By the end of the 2019 fiscal year, Ford delivered about 2.3 million units to customers in the U.S. and was thus the leading car brand, while VW shifted 363,322 units (Statista (b), 2020). The United States is the largest market for Ford, as the United Kingdom is the company’s third-largest sales market. Currently, Ford Motors hires an estimated 13,000 individuals at its engine factories in Bridgend and Dagenham along with the partly owned transmission facility in Halewood. Nonetheless, although Ford was the leading car brand in the UK as of 2019 in terms of global sales, Volkswagen Group led automobile manufacturer overall during the year. The company sold more than 10.8 million units of its brands, including Seat, Škoda, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bugatti, Audi, and Bentley, in 2019. As a potential employee in the global automotive industry, Ford and VW are the best, with the former being a much more lucrative option in the overseas market than the latter.
Ford Motors in the UK market offers the most lucrative opportunity for a new employee. The management of the company is currently employing some of the best HR practices in the market through the “one Ford” strategy. The HR department’s job positions at the company focus on personnel relations, workforce planning and recruiting, business operations, as well as labor relations. First, this business strategy outlines the importance of a competent and well-motivated workforce in the growth objectives of the automobile company. Moreover, Ford motor has the ‘Get Started’ program, which is in part a motivation program that gives new recruited staff members to access tools as well as networks that offer them a chance to be productive. The continued focus is on creating a culture of learning and curiosity is established on the onset. Moreover, Ford is on the verge of reducing its ‘Lost Time Case Rate’ or LTCR, to increase the effectiveness of workplace safety as well as take into account the number of workdays as because of a work-related injury or sicknesses. Ford has also grown its focus on induction and is using smart technology of integrating new talent. Induction at Ford has been made more rationalized and efficient over time; an internet enabled platform has made the process smoother and more competent for Ford’s new-hires. Additionally, the customized web portal allows new hires to complete their book-keeping and tasks in an organized manner such that rather than being occupied with official procedure on their first day, new employees can engage themselves in new experiences, culture, as well as their role. With the information provided in reguards ti the benefits, an employee is bound to attain; Ford Motors UK is the best company to work in for an employee with a family.
The best company to work for is Ford Motors in the UK market. The U.S market is by far much larger than the UK one. However, as shown by the data presented in the paper, the employment opportunities in the American market are less as compared to the UK. Additionally, more car manufacturers have set up shop in the region, particularly Asian based carmakers, a factor driven by the increased need for an effective workforce. It can be argued that the increase in the number of employees in the UK automotive industry fell after 2018; however, the drop was influenced by BREXIT. As explained in the article, the UK automotive industry is expected to bounce back to high productivity, as there exist particular legislative options to reduce or stimulate sales to other nations in Western Europe in the EU. Ford offers various training, access, as well as health benefits for individuals with families. Additionally, the company continues to be a leader in new technology in the form of hybrid and electric vehicles. With this in mind, it can be argued that Ford Motor’s future holds steady and strong.
Bailey, D., & De Propris, L. (2018). Manufacturing reshoring and its limits: The UK automotive case. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy, and Society, 7(3), 379-395.
Giampieri, A., Ling-Chin, J., Taylor, W., Smallbone, A., & Roskilly, A. P. (2019). Moving towards low-carbon manufacturing in the UK automotive industry. Energy Procedia.
Mohanty, A. K., Vivekanandhan, S., Pin, J. M., & Misra, M. (2019). Composites from renewable and sustainable resources: Challenges and innovations. Science, 362(6414), 536-542.
Statista.Com (2020). Leading car brands in the United States in 2019, based on vehicle sales. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/264362/leading-car-brands-in-the-us-based-on-vehicle-sales/
Statista.Com (b) (2020). Comparison of leading car companies’ market share in the United Kingdom (UK) from March 2014 to December 2019. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/300467/leading-car-companies-market-share-in-the-united-kingdom/