Ford To Cut Up To 20000 Jobs As Fields Aims To Keep His Strategy On Track – Report – Forbes

Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mark Fields, Ford CEO, is under pressure. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Ford )

Ford Motor is planning to slash up to 10 percent of its global workforce, as it seeks to cut $3 billion in costs in the face of slower car sales and higher spending on new technologies, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday night.

The job cuts could be outlined as early as this week, the Journal said, and are expected to target mostly salaried employees.

A Ford spokesman would not confirm the report, but in a statement, the company said: “We remain focused on the three strategic priorities that will create value and drive profitable growth, which include fortifying the profit pillars in our core business, transforming traditionally underperforming areas of our core business and investing aggressively, but prudently, in emerging opportunities. Reducing costs and becoming as lean and efficient as possible also remain part of that work. We have not announced any new people efficiency actions, nor do we comment on speculation.”

Chief Executive Mark Fields has been under increasing pressure as the company’s profits have slowed and its stock price has slumped. Although its flagship F-series pickups are selling well, Ford has some significant gaps in its product lineup that are putting it at a disadvantage to competitors,. Meanwhile, it has increased spending on new initiatives, such as $4.5 billion for new electrified vehicles, while aiming to put autonomous cars on the road by 2021.

The company is projecting $9 billion in pre-tax profit this year, down from $10.4 billion in 2016.

In a conference call with analysts and media in late April, Fields said, “We are continuing our intense focus on cost and the reason for that is not only mindful of the current environment that we’re in, but also I think preparing us even more for a downturn scenario.”

Reducing headcount could be tricky because Ford, like other automakers, has been under pressure from President Trump to add manufacturing jobs in the U.S. For example, Ford earlier this year suspended plans to build a factory in Mexico.

Ford has 200,000 employees globally, half of which work in North America. Since the Great Recession, it has hired thousands of hourly and salaried employees to support its comeback as well as its new technology investments. 

Ford shares have fallen nearly 40% since Fields became CEO in mid-2014.


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