In contrast to the admittedly much smaller but over-subscribed Jaguar Land Rover voluntary redundancies reported by just-auto today, former owner Ford is having problems persuading US workers to leave.

Fewer than 3,000 of 60,100 staff in North America have decided to go, people familiar with the results told the Detroit Free Press.

Neither the automaker nor the union would disclose the official number until Ford released third-quarter results on Friday, the report said.

Ford officials have previously told UAW leaders privately about 4,200 employees were surplus to needs but stopped short of setting that as a target, the Free Press said.

The paper noted that Ford has offered multiple buyout packages to workers since 2005, shedding 39% of its workforce, or nearly 40,000 people, but its aim to lose 8,000 more in the first half of 2008 fell short as only 4,100 workers left voluntarily.

Ford offered 10 buyout packages to workers at some factories in Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky in the latest round supported by a campaign, the paper said.

Industry observers suggested the tight jobs market in a troubled economy was likely to be encouraging workers to take their chances with Ford and leave only if forced to.