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Honda and Mazda Offering Employee Buyouts

By June 14, 2012

Honda Ohio manufacturing plant

Honda and Mazda have now joined Ford in the industry's most recent bid to trim costs by offering buyout packages to company employees.

This approach, which offers large lump sum payments to incentivize early retirement, is nothing new. Ford, as well as General Motors and Chrysler, used this tool when the market took a nosedive in 2008 and 2009, enticing tens of thousands of workers to cash out.

Fast forward to 2011, and Ford once again opened up its coffers, pitching $50,000-$100,000 checks to 41,000 production and skilled workers; 1,700 people accepted the offer, and will be off the payroll by June 1. Some of those jobs will disappear, but many slots will be refilled by previously laid-off Ford employees or new hires earning a much lower wage.

Mazda, which is suffering from significant financial losses, has also jumped onto the buyout bandwagon. According to Automotive News, the company is offering a one-time payment to employees who voluntarily leave their jobs; those who opt not to accept the buyout may be reassigned or laid off.

And, just this week, Honda announced its Voluntary Retirement Program. Automotive News reports that, unlike the others, this plan is aimed at employees age 59 and older, and who have been with the company for at least 15 years. Those who apply and are accepted by the program will leave with one year's salary, a bonus commensurate with years served, and medical benefits.

Unless you're one who wants to do the 9-5 gig until they put you in the ground, these propositions might be too tempting to pass up.

What do you think? Would you take Mazda's buyout or risk being laid-off later? Will Honda suffer from retiring a number of experienced, likely knowledgeable employees? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

© Photo courtesy of Honda

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