Ford Motor Co. is looking to trim down its U.S. white-collar workforce by offering 1,400 salaried workers early retirement incentives.
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Employees were notified of the offer Wednesday after Kumar Galhotra, the company's president of the Americas, broke the news during the company's virtual global meeting, a Ford spokesperson confirmed to FOX Business.
The incentives are part of an $11 billion restructuring plan to "increase global fitness and effectiveness, including reprioritizing products and services so we are more streamlined and successful," Ford says.
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Following the meeting, Galhotra issued a letter to employees stating that the company is "in a multiyear process of making Ford more fit and effective around the world" and that the company has "reprioritized certain products and services and are adjusting our staffing to better align with our new work statement."
In order to achieve this goal, the company will offer a "voluntary incentive program" for U.S. salaried workers who are eligible to retire as of Dec. 31. If approved, the employees would leave the company by the end of the year.
Information technology workers and those responsible for rolling out new vehicles will not be affected.
Most of the reductions would take place in the Dearborn, Mich., area, where Ford has its headquarters and large product development and engineering operations.
"This is consistent with fixing parts of the business that aren’t working, accelerating in other areas and growing through investments in new technologies/businesses," a spokesperson for the company said. "We need to make significant progress to return to a 10-percent EBIT margin in North America."
The program will open Sept. 8 and offers must be accepted within 45 days, according to Ford.
The company is "hopeful" it will meet its goals with the offers. However, if it doesn't, the company "may consider involuntary separations."
Like other automakers, Ford has been struggling this year as the coronavirus forced factory closures and chased customers away from showrooms. Factories have been reopened and demand is slowly returning.
Ford has about 30,000 white-collar workers in the U.S.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.