The Financial Times reports that Ford is planning to make redundancy offers to 1,500 white-collar workers in North America as part of its restructuring and cost savings drive.

The FT says that Ford will begin negotiating separation packages this month for employees in sales, marketing, finance and distribution functions.

According to the newspaper report, Ford sources are warning that if the negotiations are unsuccessful or the headcount target is not achieved, then compulsory redundancies and lay-offs would likely follow.

Ford will prefer to avoid compulsory redundancies if possible and is acutely aware of the already low morale amongst white-collar staff at Ford.

The cuts to white-collar jobs are part of an overall restructuring package, comprising a total of 22,000 job losses in North America, five plant closures and a new product offensive.

The aggressive cost-cutting of white-collar staff is seen as necessary to shore up the bottom line following the removal of Jac Nasser and Ford's huge losses last year. It was reported at the end of last year that Ford could be intending to cut up to 20% of its US white-collar workforce - more than 8,000 salaried employees.