NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -
Ford Motor Co. plans to close at least 10 plants and cut 25,000 to 30,000 hourly jobs in North America within five years, according to a published report Wednesday.
The Detroit News, quoting people familiar with the plan, said the deep cuts will be presented to the Ford board of directors for consideration Wednesday. It will not be revealed to the public until Jan. 23, according to the paper.
The cuts are much deeper than earlier reports, which initially had Ford closing as few as three assembly plants and cutting only about 7,000 positions.
Ford spokesman Oscar Suris would only tell the paper, "Our work continues. These plans will be final when they're ready to be shared publicly."
The paper said that the shakeups at Ford will include the departure of as many as seven top executives in the coming weeks.
Ford had 87,000 UAW-represented workers in North America at the end of 2004, along with about 11,600 union workers in Canada, according to the paper.
The depth of the cuts would be comparable to the plans announced at General Motors two weeks ago to close a dozen North American facilities and eliminate about 30,000 hourly jobs.
Sources familiar with Ford's strategy told the paper the decision about which plants to close has not been finalized, adding that Ford may only announce a few specific plant closures in January. UAW Vice President Gerald Bantom told the paper that the details of Ford's restructuring plan will be released Jan. 23, but said the union does not know the extent of Ford's planned cuts.
"We're hoping that nothing happens," said Bantom, who heads the UAW's Ford bargaining unit. "But we know that's not going to happen."
Over the past year, Ford's pretax profits in North America have fallen from almost $1.8 billion in the first nine months of 2004 to a loss of nearly $2.2 billion for the same period in 2005.
For more on GM's plans to close plants and cut staff, click here.