(Adds more details on Ford plans)
By David Shepardson
NEW YORK May 17 Ford Motor Co said on
Wednesday it plans to cut 1,400 salaried jobs in North America
and Asia through voluntary early retirement and other financial
incentives as the No. 2 U.S. automaker looks to boost its
sagging stock price.
Ford shares fell as much as 2.5 percent in heavy trading and
were headed to their worst close since November 2012 as the
broader markets tumbled over the political turmoil in
The buyout offers were a fraction of the 20,000 job cuts
that some news outlets had reported Ford could announce this
Ford said the cuts would amount to about 10 percent of a
group of 15,000 managers and other non-production workers and
would reduce labor costs for that segment by 10 percent.
The company said a large group of salaried workers would not
be covered by the planned cuts, including those in product
development and in the Ford Credit unit. The cuts will not apply
to Ford's Europe or South America units.
About two-thirds of the buyout offers are in North America
and the rest in Asia. Ford does not plan to cut hourly workers
The automaker will offer financial incentives, including
generous early retirement offers, to encourage salaried
employees to depart voluntarily by the end of September. Ford
said it expects it will hit the targets through voluntary
offers, spokesman Mike Moran said.
"Reducing costs and becoming as lean and efficient as
possible also remain part of that work," Moran said.
The voluntary incentives offers will go to about 9,600 of
30,000 U.S. salaried workers, the company said.
In 2016, Ford cut hundreds of white-collar jobs in Europe,
reducing costs by $200 million annually.
Ford continues to churn out strong profits, reporting a
record $10.4 billion in pretax earnings in 2016, and expects to
earn around $9 billion this year.
But investors are worried about slowing sales and an
industry that could be dominated by autonomous vehicles and car
sharing in the future.
The Detroit automakers have been under pressure from U.S.
President Donald Trump to add jobs in the United States, but
declining U.S. sales and stalled share values are exerting a
Ford said in January it was cancelling a planned Mexico
plant and adding 700 jobs in Michigan.
Last month it announced plans to cut costs by $3 billion in
2017. Automakers are trimming expenditures as they brace for
slowing auto sales.
General Motors Co (GM.N) has cut more than 4,000 U.S. jobs
since November, and moved to conserve capital by shedding its
European operations and closing unprofitable operations in Asia.
Ford's market capitalization has been surpassed by Tesla Inc
, which has sold just a fraction of Ford vehicles.
Ford announced in 2015 it is investing $4.5 billion to add
13 new electric and hybrid vehicles by 2020 as it sought to
position itself as a mobility company.
"You have to have one foot in today... but also one foot in
the future," Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields told reporters
last month. "I think investors understand our strategy."
Ford shares are down nearly 40 percent since Fields took the
helm in July 2014.
(Repoprting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by