Ford is considering re-instating annual bonuses for 6,100 of its upper- and middle-management employees worldwide three years after its multi-billion dollar cost-cutting programme forced a suspension of the payments, The Financial Times (FT) said.

The carmaker reportedly said that no “final determination had been made” as to whether to re-instate the payments but that a decision was likely in March.

At the same time, Ford said that 53 of its top executives would forgo “merit raises” for the fourth consecutive year, the FT added.

The paper noted that chairman and chief executive Bill Ford has gone without a salary throughout the restructuring, taking only stock options in the company. The company reportedly said he had not exercised any of those options.

The FT said that Ford suspended various types of executive compensation payments for its upper and middle management, as well as top executives, shortly after it unveiled in January 2002 a $US9 billion restructuring.

Since then, Ford has increased its cost-cutting targets beyond the overall $9 billion after making better than expected progress removing vehicle development, material and general costs, the report added.

Last year, it saved $3.2 billion in cost related to its automotive operations, the Financial Times said.