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Jeep Owner Lays Off 400 Employees By Locking Them Out of Their Systems and Emails

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Jeep Owner Lays Off 400 Employees By Locking Them Out of Their Systems and Emails
Source: Pinterest

Jeep Owner Lays Off 400 Employees By Locking Them Out of Their Systems and Emails

Source: Pinterest

Stellantis, the owner of vehicle brands Jeep and Dodge, has laid off 400 employees. However, the company did this in a “cold” and “impersonal” way, according to many people.

Stellantis Company

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Stellantis is the world’s fourth-largest automaker by sales, behind Toyota, Volkswagen Group, and Hyundai Motor Group. The company designs, manufactures, and sells automobiles bearing its 14 brands: Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, and Vauxhall.
Their headquarters is located in Amsterdam, and they have over 300,000 employees in 130 countries.

The Layoffs

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According to a report by CNBC, Jeep had to lay off 400 U.S. workers due to “unprecedented” uncertainties. The layoffs will affect about 2% of the workers in the company’s software, technology, and engineering sectors. This will be out of 11,800 salaried workers that Stellantis employed in 2023. These layoffs went into full effect on March 31st.

Stellantis’ Company Statement

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Stellantis sent out an official statement, explaining the reason for the layoffs. According to them, this was a result of competitive pressure from global competitors. “As the auto industry continues to face unprecedented uncertainties and heightened competitive pressures around the world, Stellantis continues to make the appropriate structural decisions across the enterprise to improve efficiency and optimize our cost structure,” the company said.

The Layoff Affects 400 Employees

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Initially, a spokeswoman for Stellantis refused to specify the exact number of layoffs that the company was planning to do. However, the Wall Street Journal reported that sources close to those affected confirmed it to be around 400 people.
They also confirmed that the layoffs happened during a “mandatory remote work day.” However, they could not be public about it due to lack of authorization.

Stellantis Has Been Trying to Cut Costs

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The company’s current formation was established through a merger between Fiat Chrysler and the PSA Groupe in 2021. At the time, the merger made a lot of headlines because it shot Stellantis up to the position of the fourth-largest automaker in the world.
Since then, Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Stellantis, has been trying to cut costs for the company.

The Dare Forward Plan

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CEO Tavares is overseeing a company plan called “Dare Forward 2030.” This plan aims to increase profit and double Stallantis’ revenue by the end of 2030. The goal is to increase profits by $335 billion!
With this plan and the merger as well, Stellantis is under pressure to cut costs and become more profitable to both investors and shareholders.

Stellantis' Official Reasons

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Now, Stellantis is citing the plan as the major reason for these layoffs as well as electric vehicle production. The company’s statement read, “While we understand this is difficult news, these actions will better align resources while preserving the critical skills needed to protect our competitive advantage as we remain laser-focused on implementing our EV product offensive and our Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan.”

Other Big Companies Are Doing This

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Stellantis is not the only company that has been laying off workers in recent times. In fact, many other major global companies have done the same thing and are laying them off digitally.
A Business Insider report in December said that several big shot companies were firing employees through an email or simply locking them out of their digital company systems.

Google’s Layoffs

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Google laid off employees in a similar manner. In February 2023, it laid off nearly 12,000 of its employees through a quick email that read: “We no longer have a job for you.”
Understandably, this shocked the employees who got this mail as they were not expecting it. One of them said, “It feels very much like they are just as cutthroat corporate as anybody else.”

Elon Musk’s Twitter Layoffs

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When Elon Musk took over Twitter (now X), he let go of a lot of employees in a similar manner. According to the employees, they did not even receive a formal announcement that they had been fired. Instead, they only found out that they had lost their jobs when they could no longer access their company emails and laptops.

Cutthroat World

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It is obvious that employers are increasingly unwilling to let people go the proper way. However, some people believe that this is the only way it can be done. Ben Hardy, a clinical professor of organizational behavior at London Business School, said, “If you call them in one by one, it takes days — or an army of managers or HR to do it. If you do it in one big meeting, you would have a room full of people who are all upset/angry, and that could turn ugly.”

An Expert’s Opinion

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Amanda Jones, a senior lecturer in organizational behavior at King’s College London said, “If an employee has had a long-term relationship with the organization and feels that they have been a loyal employee, they are likely to feel that the organization ‘owes’ them more compassion.” Therefore, this might be the same logic that employers are using to justify their abrupt termination.