Struggling Ford Motor Co. is considering cutting production indefinitely and laying off workers at U.S. Explorer SUV and Taurus car plants, The Wall Street Journal said in its online edition yesterday.

Ford has also signalled it will ask investors for as much as $US10 billion in new capital, the WSJ added.

Citing union sources, the WSJ said that among the indefinite production cuts under consideration, but so far not formally announced, are plans to significantly reduce the speed of the assembly line at the Louisville, Kentucky, factory that builds the Explorer and other SUVs.

The WSJ also cited United Auto Workers union leaders who said that Ford management is also considering axing one of two production shifts at the Atlanta, Georgia, plant that makes the midsize Taurus sedan, the company’s best-selling passenger car. That move would cost about 800 of the plant’s 2,300 hourly jobs, the WSJ said.

“We’re looking at a lot of options, and everything is on the table,” Ford spokeswoman Della Dipietro told the WSJ, though she declined to answer specific questions.