Ford is remaining tight-lipped as to information about its salary negotiations this year ahead of senior management pay details this spring.

The US automaker says it is looking at early April for what it refers to as its proxy statement to shareholders, although last month it unveiled a bonus of US$5,000 for its UAW hourly employees.

"We do pay out what are known as AICP - Annual Incentive Compensation Programme bonuses to salaried workers," a Ford spokesman in Detroit told just-auto.

"These amounts vary based on years of service and promotions. This is in early March and we don't disclose these numbers. The next disclosure will be in April with the proxy [statement]."

Ford's proxy statement is aimed at shareholders and deals with senior management pay, although it is unclear what top earners such as Alan Mulally and Bill Ford will receive.

"Just to be clear the proxy statement is a big book of 100 pages and in the middle we talk about...our compensation for 2010 and how well the company did," said the spokesman.

Responding to union noises that workers could share in Ford's sparkling performance of late, the spokesman contented himself by noting: "As part of the One Ford plan, we see the company stakeholders benefiting from the success of the company.

"If you look at the profit sharing in January, it is step in the right direction. When the company does well, by all means the One Ford plan is designed to benefit all stakeholders from salaried employees to hourly workers."

Ford posted full year net income for 2010 of US$6.6bn, a US$3.8bn increase compared to the previous year ago. Pre-tax operating profit was US$8.3bn, up US$8.3bn from a year ago and above analysts' estimates.

Yesterday (17 February), General Motors revealed it would begin its pay talks this summer following its own succession of highly profitable quarters.

Strong business results are expected to generate upwards of US$4,000 per employee for the GM plan and US$3,000 for staff of the GM Component Holdings plan.