Ford could cut up to 20% of its US white-collar workforce - more than 8,000 salaried employees - as part of an overhaul of its North American operations, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The cuts would come as part of the broader review of Ford's operations being undertaken by Nick Scheele - Ford's Chief Operating Officer and until recently head of North Amercican operations.

Strategic Review-


Scheele, also a former chairman of Ford's European operations, has previously told employees that the company needs to get "back to basics," focusing on core automotive operations rather than electronic commerce and other ventures championed by Nasser.

The results of the operations review are expected to emerge at the end of this year or the beginning of next and large-scale cuts are anticipated.

Very aggressive cost-cutting of white collar staff is seen as necessary to shore up the bottom line following the removal of Nasser and Ford's huge second and third quarter losses this year.

New Ford boss Bill Ford has said that the terms of reference for the review are wide: "Everything's up for review. Everything we have, every asset, every piece of geography, we're going to take a good, hard look at it," Ford has said.

Chief Financial Officer Martin Inglis has said he sees Ford's profits remaining under pressure in the final quarter of the year.

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Ford Motor Company Company Profile (download)

The world's car manufacturers: A financial and operating review (download)