Autoparts firm Yazaki cutting thousands of jobs in Mexico

MEXICO CITY, May 6 (Reuters) - U.S. autopart maker Yazaki North America, part of Japan-based Yazaki Group, said on Wednesday it is cutting its Mexico workforce by about 20%, a reduction that will leave the supplier some 58,000 workers as it faces plummeting demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Yazaki must adjust its production capacity to match customer demand, which has dramatically reduced,” said Brad Warner, director of corporate communications, in a statement.

“Therefore, the company is reducing its production operators and hourly workforce to align with current business levels.”

The layoffs would be effective this week, he added.

The reduction translates into about 14,500 job losses, according to a Reuters calculation, amid the pandemic that has brought production to a halt in North America’s auto sector.

Yazaki North America, part of the privately owned Yazaki Group that operates in 46 countries with about 250,000 people, makes components including wire harnesses for global automakers.

The Michigan-based North American unit also has operations in the United States, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Its Mexico factories include 16 sites in Chihuahua state near the U.S. border, where about 3,000 positions are being cut, Warner said.

He declined to state which clients are served by Mexican factories, citing confidentiality agreements.

Yazaki North America has previously disclosed supplier relationships with Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co and Mazda Motor Corp.

“Yazaki is reducing its Mexico workforce by approximately 20%. While this is a very difficult situation, Yazaki needs to position itself to ensure it can focus on preserving the jobs of our approximately 58,000 employees,” Warner said. (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)