Ford Motor told employees today it plans to reduce 10 percent of its salaried costs and personnel levels in North America and Asia Pacific, eliminating 1,400 jobs through early retirement and voluntary buyouts.
The job cuts are part of a heightened focus on costs as Ford tries to stay focused on its three priorities: strengthening the most profitable parts of its core business, transforming underperforming areas such as Lincoln and small cars and investing in emerging opportunities like autonomous cars, electrified vehicles and shared mobility.
"Reducing costs and becoming as lean and efficient as possible also remain part of that work, including plans to reduce 10 percent of our salaried costs and personnel levels in North America and Asia Pacific this year, using voluntary packages,” the company said in a statement shared with employees.
Ford said 1,400 salaried positions would be affected and it expects people to depart by the end of September. No manufacturing jobs will be affected, the company said because they are tied to production needs. Ford and other automakers have been under pressure from President Trump to bring factory jobs back from Mexico. Ford, in fact, scrapped a plan for a new Mexican factory earlier this year, and said it would use the savings to add 700 jobs in Michigan.
The white collar cuts won't be across the board, however. Ford said its product development staff and its lending arm, Ford Credit, are already improving operating efficiencies in other ways. Also unaffected are Ford's IT staff, which is restructuring to keep up with the company's transformation to an auto and a mobility company, and a newly formed data and analytics team.
Certain regions, including Ford of Europe and South America have already announced restructuring efforts, including job cuts, so they are not included, either. Nor are Ford's Middle East and Africa units, which are in a growth phase.
Last month, Ford Chief Executive Mark Fields said the company was evaluating its strategy in India, where its business has been underperforming, so it's safe to assume some of the job cuts will occur there. Ford, which invested heavily in China in recent years to catch up with competitors, has also seen weaker results there as the market has slowed.
Full details about the voluntary packages and how the program will work will be communicated with employees in early June.