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More cuts for Ford

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F - news) is considering closing more factories and eliminating more management jobs to cut North American salary costs by another 10 percent to 30 percent, the Wall Street Journal reported on its web site on Thursday.


Citing "people familiar with the automaker's plans," the newspaper said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford Jr. is under pressure to speed up the company's restructuring plan, dubbed "The Way Forward."

That plan, unveiled in January, called for cutting Ford's North American hourly workforce by 30,000 and closing 14 plants by 2012.

The Journal said Ford executives were now considering plans to expand the Way Forward cuts, speed-up the closings and scale back benefits.

It said one pressing issue for Ford is that sales of sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks are slumping and company officials believe demand for large and mid-size SUV's is decreasing.

Teams also are looking at savings in advertising and marketing budgets, the newspaper said, adding that Ford's board is scheduled to meet on September 14 to review the new plans.

The Journal said that under one scenario, the company would cut white-collar costs by 30 percent, although the final figures could be less of it can find savings elsewhere.

Ford was not immediately available for comment.

A spokeswoman declined to comment to the Journal on what she called "speculation."

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Dear Mr. Ford,

If you haven't noticed your most recent products are rather boring and aren't setting the marketplace on fire. Consider NOT firing the engineers and people who get the cars designed and engineered. Consider telling the 'bean counters' to let some fresh aggressive designs out the door, like the Ford 49 concept, and then see how the company is doing. Since your rather short on talent in these departments already I don't think it would be wise to slash them even further.

-Sincerely the concerned public

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