By Micah Maidenberg
Ford Motor Co. is offering buyouts to salaried employees in the U.S., a move that comes as the car maker works to rebound from coronavirus-related factory closures earlier in the year and prepares for new executive leadership.
Ford will offer the buyouts to certain salaried employees who are eligible for retirement as of Dec. 31, according to a memo the company distributed Wednesday that was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Ford hopes to trim about 1,400 workers through the buyouts, a company spokesman said. It has about 30,000 salaried U.S. workers total.
Eligible employees can accept offers to leave the company up to Oct. 23, with those approved to leave departing by the end of the year, Kumar Galhotra, president of the Americas and international markets, said in the memo. The company could terminate workers if the buyouts don't meet company goals, Mr. Galhotra said.
The cuts are on top of about 7,000 salaried workers let go globally last year, primarily in Europe, South America and other overseas markets. That round of cuts included about 800 U.S. layoffs.
Incoming Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley has said he is working on a plan to accelerate retiring CEO Jim Hackett's turnaround effort, which has yet to reverse Ford's declining profits. Mr. Farley takes the top job Oct. 1.
Mr. Hackett two years ago outlined an $11 billion restructuring plan that includes plans for factory closures, model eliminations and thousands of layoffs in Europe and South America. Overseas losses have weighed on Ford's results in recent years. Last year it lost money in every region it where operates except North America.
With most its white-collar employees working remotely, Ford this summer had most of its U.S. workers clear out their workspaces to revamp the company's offices, mostly around its headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. The company said it is planning for a future in which many workers don't come into the office each day.
Ford's U.S. factories resumed production in mid-May, following a nearly two-month closure from the pandemic. The down time resulted in a $1.9 billion second-quarter operating loss. Ford has said production has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Mike Colias contributed to this article.
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