The news that more than 100 employees from two agents of the vehicle distribution giant Inchcape in Singapore will be laid off in the coming weeks has triggered frenzy among the staff. If the news is to be believed, around 120 workers, from Toyota agent Borneo Motors and Suzuki agent Champion Motors, will be sacked in one of the largest trimming exercises to hit the local motor industry, which is said to be restructuring its operations in the Southeast Asian Nation.
It has been also reported that Inchcape's chief executive for South Asia and managing director of Borneo Motors, Koh Ching Hong (57), will be resigning from his post at the end of January 2017.
According to the Straits Times, the group represents 12 percent to 14 percent of Inchcape's headcount in Singapore. However, Inchcape was doing quite well in the market with Borneo Motors repeatedly topping the Sales charts in recent years. No doubt that this decision comes as a shock to industry observers. They argue this move is likely to be part of Inchcape's strategy to smooth running of its operations during the expected economic slump.
The news agency also reported the company is likely to move its finance and IT functions out of Singapore.
Singapore is reeling under uncertain and weak outlook toward the economy and experts say that a downturn is inevitable. Around 12,010 workers, according to Manpower Ministry figures, have been laid off in the first three-quarters of this year, reported the media.
However, Inchcape officials were not reachable for any questions.