Ford Motor Co. has said that it wants to reduce costs by $7 billion in 2017 in order to increase profitability next year as USA auto sales are expected to stagnate.
Ford is cutting 1,400 jobs in North America and Asia Pacific this year in an effort to boost profits.
In a statement, Ford said it remains focused on "becoming as lean and efficient as possible" but didn't provide specifics on anticipated cost savings.
In March, Ford said it would invest $1.2 billion in three MI facilities and create 130 jobs in projects largely in line with a previous agreement with the United Auto Workers union. But with Ford spending heavily on autonomous-drive, electric vehicles and mobility solutions, investors are wondering how much those investments will cut into future profits.
Ford's global headcount sits at some 200,000 employees, so 10 percent comes out to about 20,000 potentially lost jobs.
A Ford spokesperson said in an email the company "has not announced any new people efficiency actions, nor do we comment on speculation".
The automaker will offer financial incentives, including generous early retirement offers, to encourage salaried employees to depart voluntarily by the end of September.
General Motors and Fiat Chrysler have cut hourly jobs since the end of a year ago, as the first decline in USA auto sales since 2009 has resulted in excess inventories of new cars on dealer lots. Ford executive chairman Bill Ford told Detroit Free Press: "Look, we're as frustrated as you are by the stock price". The automaker even committed to ditching plans to build a factory in Mexico that had been under construction after the president criticized it, and instead announced it would add 700 jobs in MI.
The company, which employs a total of about 30,000 salaried workers in the USA, did not break down the number of employees in MI that could be impacted. The automaker said on April 27 when it posted earnings for the first quarter than it was planning to cuts costs by $3 billion.
Ford said its operations in Europe, South America and the Middle East and Africa regions will not be included in the targeted salaried positions.
CEO at Ford Mark Fields said the automaker was continuing its focus on cost and that is not just for how the environment is now, but preparing for a possible downturn in sales.
But investors are anxious about slowing sales and an industry that could be dominated by autonomous vehicles and auto sharing in the future.
In a statement, Ford neither confirmed nor denied the report. Earlier this year shares of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, which is a fraction of Ford's size, passed Ford in terms of market value.
But the company is still moving ahead with plans announced a year ago to shift all small auto production to Mexico. What's more, despite what many analysts are calling "peak auto", Ford is still dominant with its line of trucks - particularly in North America.
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