Ford to cut 1,400 jobs in North America, Asia

Ford South Africa is likely to lose a fortune on new car sales if the saga over the Ford Kuga continues. Picture Getty Images

Ford plans to cut 1,400 jobs in North America and Asia as part of a cost-cutting drive as the American auto boom shows signs of fatigue, the automaker said Wednesday.

The job cuts are expected to be voluntary through the use of early retirement and separation packages, a Ford spokesman said.

Ford is striving to become “as lean and efficient as possible” and targeting a 10 percent reduction of salary costs and staffing in North America and Asia Pacific, the spokesman added.

The move comes as the multi-year US auto boom begins to ebb. US auto sales in April fell about five percent compared with a the year-ago period.

Ford and other carmakers have faced special challenges trying to unload sedans and other small cars in the United States, where sport utility vehicles and trucks remain popular.

Ford is aiming to cut $3 billion in costs in 2017, a person close to the matter told AFP. At the same time, Ford is investing heavily in autonomous driving and other newer technologies.

The auto giant will release details to employees about separation packages in early June and workers will leave by the end of September, the company said.

The job cuts come as Ford chief executive Mark Fields faces pressure to boost Ford’s stock price, which has lost more than 30 percent of its value since Fields took the top job in May 2014.

Ford shares fell 0.4 percent in pre-market trading to $10.90.