How robots threaten Trump's Ford plant victory

07 Jan 2017 | By Abheet Sethi

Ford's $700 million investment in its Michigan factory will help create 700 jobs.

At $1 million per new employee hired, it appears this massive investment is not creating sufficient jobs.

Most of the investment will go towards industrial robots which will produce automobiles.

Hence, far from President-elect Donald Trump's aims, robots will more likely benefit from this investment than workers.

In context: Robots benefit from Trump's Ford victory, not workers

04 Jan 2017Ford succumbs to Trump, cancels $1.6 billion Mexico factory

Ford Motor Co. said it planned to drop its plan to build the $1.6 billion factory in Mexico.

In lieu of that Ford plans to invest $700 million in its Michigan factory.

It is believed that the decision comes from President-elect Donald Trump's harsh criticism of the Mexico investment plan.

Ford said it needed to "fully utilize capacity at existing facilities" amid declining sales.

07 Jan 2017How robots threaten Trump's Ford plant victory

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Automation raises Ford's fortunes

Ford's annual revenue per employee has increased 27% over the past decade, a sign of how automation is leading to more efficiency.

Lead automationAutomobile sector biggest buyers of robots

The global supply of Industrial robots has increased 111% over the past decade, according to the International Federation of Robotics.

The automobile sector, once the largest employer, buys nearly 40% of these robots making it their largest customer.

Sale of robots to carmakers is increasing by an average 20% every year.

Why?Robots more cost-effective

It costs $25 per hour, including benefits, to employ a human welder in an American factory.

This drops down to $8 per hour for a robot welder, including installation, operating costs and maintenance, according to a Boston Consulting Group study.

By 2030, this cost could go down to as little as $2 per hour.

What else?Automation not limited to automobile sector

Low-skill occupations may be most vulnerable to automation but experts believe technology could threaten white-collar jobs too.

Software automation and predictive algorithms are advancing; significantly allowing them to perform tasks which are somewhat routine and predictable.

Information technology has potential to replace skilled professionals, including journalists, scientists, and pharmacists.

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