The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Auto Workers Pay the Price for the Companies’ Decisions on Electric Vehicles

Apr 8, 2024

Ford just laid off about 1,500 workers who were building electric F-150 trucks at its plant in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford is going from 3 shifts down to 1 shift there. At the same time, Ford announced that it will delay building an electric SUV at its plant in Oakville, Ontario from 2025 to 2027, meaning that those workers will be without a job for over 2 years. And Ford said it is delaying the opening of a new plant in Tennessee where it says it will build electric pickup trucks. The workers who were supposed to be hired will be kept waiting another year.

It’s not just Ford doing this. GM, Stellantis, Tesla, and other auto companies are also slowing down and delaying plans for electric vehicles.

Why are the companies cutting back on electric vehicle production? Ford said they are cutting back because of a “downward pressure on prices.” What Ford means is what everyone knows—that the prices of electric vehicles are too damn high. But the auto companies don’t want to reduce prices and thus reduce profits. They would rather sell fewer vehicles and put workers out of a job.

The whole move toward electric vehicles was presented as a move to save the environment and slow down climate change. But under capitalism, electric vehicles are just another way for the capitalists to make profits. Every decision the capitalists make is based on what makes them the most profit. A system run by the capitalists only works for the capitalists, not for the working class.