Ford 'set to shed 10% of workforce'

Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it aims to reduce its salaried workforce in North America and Asia by 10%, a cost-cutting move aimed at shoring up profits amid cooling sales in the once-booming US and Chinese auto markets.

President Donald Trump throughout his early days in office has pushed for automakers to create jobs in the U.S.

Ford has close to 30,000 US based salaried workers.

The Wall Street Journal reported the plans late Monday evening, citing people familiar with the proposal. The company said a large group of salaried workers would not be covered by the planned cuts, including those in product develop and in the Ford Credit unit.

To that end, Ford will make efforts at "reducing costs and becoming as lean and efficient as possible", said Moran, who offered no comment on rumours of major staffing reductions.

The job cuts come following healthy profits and record sales in recent years, though the numbers have been on the decline since the start of 2017.

Ford last month committed to cutting costs by $3 billion this year, despite that commodity prices are up by $1 billion. The shares are down almost 40 per cent since Mark Fields took over as chief executive officer in July 2014.

During his election campaign President Trump was highly critical of the auto industry's use of Mexican plants to produce vehicles for the us market.

Ford's first quarter reporting saw profits fall by US$900 million (A$1.21 billion) compared to the previous year, though a US$1.6 billion (A$2.15 billion) profit statement was reported for the period. The second-largest automaker has also been trying to boost its stock price, which has tumbled about 40 percent since Mark Fields became CEO almost three years ago.

Ford recently announced it would add 700 manufacturing jobs in Flat Rock as part of an investment to build autonomous and electrified vehicles there. Hourly jobs, particularly in North America, will not be cut as the company works to keep up with demand for new vehicles, which remains relatively strong. But Ford has been rolling out a series of temporary plant closings and layoffs since the US automotive market began to slow a year ago.

  • Zachary Reyes