Reports of large-scale Ford job cuts meet indifference on Wall Street

According to a person briefed about the plan, Ford plans to offer generous early retirement incentives to cut its salaried headcount by 1 October.

Ford says that it has three priorities in its strategy, aiming to drive profitability and value. "Reducing costs and becoming as lean and efficient as possible also remain part of that work".

Ford announced the $3 billion cost cutting goal at the same time it reported sharply lower first quarter earnings, reports CNN.

Slashing jobs in the USA, even at a 10 percent rate or lower, is likely to spark some conflict with President Donald Trump's administration. Ford in Europe has cut hundreds of salaried and manufacturing jobs in recent years as part of its turnaround plan that's allowed it to make a profit each of the past two years. Ford is also spending heavily on technology with an uncertain future, like self-driving vehicles. United States auto sales in April fell about five percent compared with a the year-ago period.

Ford, in an official statement, did not confirm it is slashing jobs.

The Wall Street Journal reported the intended cuts on Monday, and Reuters later clarified roughly how many and where the cuts would come.

A source confirmed to AFP that massive job cuts are planned at Ford in the coming days, affecting as many as 20,000 salaried workers. Both reports said the layoffs would target salaried staff, not the hourly employees working on factory floors.

The auto maker also has around 25,000 employees in Asia, but there are no figures on how many of these are salaried.

Ford's stock price has fallen almost 40 percent over the last three years as investors worry that USA sales are peaking.

In product development and those who work for Ford Credit, which already are improving total operating costs in other ways.

Following criticism from Trump, in January Ford scrapped plans to build a $1.6 billion vehicle factory in Mexico and instead added 700 jobs in MI.

President Trump during his campaign for the presidency previous year was very critical of the industry's use of plants in Mexico to manufacture vehicles that were to be sold in the USA market.

"The company's performance has been lagging, even during times when the USA market was doing extremely well", said Sascha Gommel, a Frankfurt-based automotive analyst at Commerzbank.

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