The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Ford Motor Company will be shedding nearly 10 percent of its global workforce. Citing sources familiar with the company’s plans, the announcement could come as early as this week as the company comes under pressure from shareholders regarding its strategy.
According to the report, the job cuts will be global in scope and focus primarily on the company’s salaried workforce. It isn’t clear if there is a primary target for the cuts, such as geographic region or specific function. It also isn’t clear if the company’s hourly workforce in the U.S. may see cuts as well as auto sales in the U.S. continue to show signs of slowing down after the post-recession boom.
Thus far Ford has not confirmed the WSJ report. Instead, the company issued the following statement, which carefully does not deny that cost costs may be coming:
“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,” the company said.
The alleged job cuts are likely part of a broader plan for Ford to shed nearly $3 billion in cost reduction during 2017 in an effort to boost profitability next year. Ironically the company’s most profitable year in history was 2016, when it booked a net income of $10.6 billion. Shareholders have consistently been unsatisfied with those results as Ford focuses on long-term capital investments into transforming into a mobility company.
Ford currently has about 200,000 employees globally, with a majority of them in the U.S.