Facing a steep decline in revenue since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States, Cox Automotive trimmed their workforce by approximately 275 positions on Thursday. Of the cuts, 60 percent had already been furloughed in May.
Cox Automotive is just one of the many auto companies that have taken serious losses since March 2020. Their corporate umbrella includes Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, and Manheim wholesale auctions that depend heavily on auto retail success.
The cuts come after more than 12,500 Cox Automotive employees were furloughed starting May 17th, lasting up to 16 weeks. Most of those positions were with Manheim “due to the sharp declines in wholesale transactions and a necessary move to an all-digital format at all Manheim auctions in the U.S.”
Layoffs Necessary to Restructure
How those layoffs are distributed across the organizations has not been disclosed by Cox Automotive. However, executive publisher for Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, Karl Brauer, confirmed that his position is one of the 275 that are affected by the cuts.
A statement put out on Thursday said, “Cox Automotive is evolving our strategy, business model and organizational structure that we started last year and accelerated as part of our response to COVID-19.”
“As part of that work, we’re taking a thoughtful approach to determining which roles are needed and made the difficult decision to eliminate about 275 positions today. While we regret the impact this has on our employees and their families, we’re working to create a Cox Automotive that’s prepared to lead the industry well into the future.”
It can be inferred that many of the permanent layoffs were Manheim employees. Of the 10,000 US-based furloughed staff, around 9,000 are auction unit staff. Previously, 300 employees for Manheim returned to work, many of whom are in reconditioning and titling.
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Car Biz Today, the official resource of the retail automotive industry.