Ford Sees 1,400 Salaried Workers Leaving by End of September

(Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. said it’s making an “accelerated attack on costs” by offering voluntary buyout packages to salaried workers in North America and Asia, as Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields faces pressure to improve profit and boost the carmaker’s stock price.

The automaker expects 1,400 salaried employees to leave by the end of September, according to an emailed statement. The early retirement offers won’t be extended to key employees engineering new models and developing technology such as self-driving cars.

The staff cuts are part of a plan to lop $3 billion off the company’s costs this year. Fields was grilled by his board last week and impugned by investors eager for a turnaround in Ford’s declining earnings and shares. Ford is pouring billions into developing driverless cars, while sales of its conventional models are struggling to keep pace with rivals including General Motors Co. amid a slowing U.S. auto market.

Salaried personnel will shrink by 10 percent in Ford’s North American and Asia Pacific operations, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company told employees Wednesday. Buyout offers won’t be extended to workers in product development, plant manufacturing, information technology, global data and analytics and the Ford Credit financial-services unit.

The early retirement offers also won’t apply to Ford’s operations in Europe and South America, which already have retrenchment plans underway. In North America and Asia, targeted salaried employees will begin receiving buyout offers in early June, according to the company.