Ford gets ready to cut jobs

Trump's job creation, 100 days in
Trump's job creation, 100 days in

Ford Motor, under pressure from shareholders to cut costs in the face of lower profits and falling share price, could be getting ready to make deep cuts in its worldwide staff.

The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday evening that Ford plans to cut about about 10% of its worldwide work force, which comes to about 20,000 jobs. The paper cited people familiar with the proposal.

Reuters and the Detroit News both reported Tuesday that 10% cuts are under consideration. The reports say that most of the jobs would be salaried workers who do not have union protection, rather than the 57,000 U.S. hourly staff who work on assembly lines.

The company would not confirm or deny the report Monday, saying only that "reducing costs and becoming as lean and efficient as possible" is one of its key priorities, but that it has yet to announce any new job cuts. It would not comment on the Journal report.

Related: Ford to invest $1.2 billion in Michigan plants

But the company announced last month that it is looking to reduce costs by $3 billion in order to offset efforts to invest in "emerging opportunities."

The company has announced that efforts to develop the next generation of electric and self-driving cars would lead to a lower profit margin in the near term. Those are expensive, long-term bets that will take some time to pay off, if they ever do. Ford announced the $3 billion cost cutting goal at the same time it reported sharply lower first quarter earnings.

Related: Tesla is worth more than Ford

Earlier this year shares of electric car manufacturer Tesla (TSLA), which is a fraction of Ford's size, passed Ford in terms of market value. Ford (F) shares are down nearly 10% so far this year.

But Ford and other U.S. automakers also have been under pressure from President Donald Trump to create U.S. jobs. As a candidate for president last year he repeatedly hammered Ford for its investment in plants in Mexico.

Ford won praise from Trump when it announced in early January that it was scrapping plans for a plant in Mexico and would invest $700 million in a Michigan plant to build electric and self-driving cars.

But the company is still moving ahead with plans announced last year to shift all small car production to Mexico. Plans for the next Mexican plant were dropped because of lower demand for small cars altogether. The small cars that were to be built there will now be built at another Mexican plant.

-- CNNMoney's Rob McLean contributed to this report

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