Report: Ford plans job cuts to boost profits - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Report: Ford plans job cuts to boost profits

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)  -- Ford Motor Co. is planning substantial job cuts to boost profits and raise its stock price, according to the Wall Street Journal, but a union official in Louisville said he knows of no layoffs among the more-than 13,000 line workers at Ford’s two local plants.

The Wall Street Journal said in a story published Monday the cuts would target salaried employees and would reduce Ford’s global headcount by an equivalent of 10 percent.

But Todd Dunn, president of UAW Local 862 in Louisville, said Tuesday there will be “no hourly layoffs to my knowledge at all” at Kentucky Truck Plant and Louisville Assembly Plant.

"I don't see anything coming our way," Dunn said.

Ford’s total sales are down 5 percent so far this year, but that’s because car sales have fallen off a cliff while bigger vehicles, like the ones made in Louisville, continue to meet strong demand.

Dunn said Ford “cannot build enough” of the Louisville-made Escape SUV (Louisville Assembly Plant) and the Super Duty pickup trucks (Kentucky Truck Plant).      

Ford didn't confirm the Wall Street Journal report Monday night.

In a statement, the company said it’s focused on reducing costs and improving efficiency. But Ford said it hasn’t announced any job cuts and won't comment on speculation.

Investors are concerned that U.S. sales are peaking and Ford’s market share is slipping.

Ford’s shares have lost more than a third of their value since Mark Fields became CEO in 2014. Electric car maker Tesla Inc. recently surpassed Ford in market value even though it sells far fewer vehicles.

But the Louisville-made vehicles have been among Ford’s best sellers for the last few years.

Ford sold 275,938 F-Series trucks during the first four months of the year, up 7.4 percent from the same period last year. The Super Duty trucks (F-250 and above) are made at Kentucky Truck Plant.

Meanwhile, sales of the Escape SUV – made at Louisville Assembly Plant – are up 6.8 percent, to 101,975, so far this year.

The Expedition, a large SUV built at Kentucky Truck Plant, has surged in recent years and is up 35 percent so far this year. Ford sold 20,558 Expeditions during the January-April period.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story. AP material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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