Ford to cut 10% of global workforce

Ford Motor Co confirmed Wednesday that it plans to reduce 10% of its salaried workforce in its North America and Asia Pacific divisions this year.

The job cuts, expected to be revealed as early as this week, would largely target salaried employees, the WSJ said on Monday.

Ford is striving to become "as lean and efficient as possible" and targeting a 10 percent reduction of salary costs and staffing in North America and Asia Pacific, the spokesman added.

Ford has not specified the details of what it blandly calls "people efficiency actions", and has not responded to questions from industry journalists, although the company claims that any layoffs will be "voluntary", cited by Reuters.

Reuters and the Wall Street Journal both report that salaried workers are in the US automakers sights, a move likely to rattle US President Donald Trump, who has signalled employment in the automotive sector as a top priority.

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

Ford shares are down almost 10 percent so far this year.

The buyout offers were a fraction of the 20,000 job cuts that some news outlets had reported Ford could announce this week.

Ford says its European and South American operations have already cut workers and won't be affected.

In March, Ford said it would invest $1.2 billion in three MI facilities and create 130 jobs in projects largely in line with a previous agreement with the United Auto Workers union.

Unlike job cuts in the past, this time Ford's moving to slash costs while the company is solidly profitable.

Ford shares were down 0.13 percent in late afternoon trading, and are down almost 40 percent since Fields took over as CEO in July 2014. They're also unsure about Ford's heavy spending on technology with an uncertain future, like its recent investment of $1 billion in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence startup.

"We're as frustrated as you are by the stock price".

There was no immediate comment from President Donald Trump, who needled Ford during his campaign over its plans to build a new small vehicle plant in Mexico.

  • Zachary Reyes