FORD MOTOR COMPANY - F-350 TRUCK LOGO - AP FILE.jpeg
FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2019, file photograph, the company logo shines off the grille of an unsold F-350 pickup truck at a Ford dealership in Littleton, Colo. Ford Motor Co. is recalling nearly 262,000 heavy-duty pickup trucks in the U.S. and Canada because the tailgates can open unexpectedly. The recall covers F-250, F-350 and F-450 trucks from the 2017 through 2019 model years. All the trucks have electric tailgate latch release switches in the tailgate handle. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- More than 12,000 rank-and-file workers at Ford Motor Co.'s two Louisville plants will receive profit-sharing bonuses of about $6,600 apiece in March, the lowest annual payout in at least eight years, according to company data.

The United Auto Workers-negotiated bonuses are based on Ford's profit in North America, which fell last year to $6.6 billion, the company reported earlier this week. The actual bonus paid to each worker is based on his or her hours worked in 2019. 

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Ford's total profit plunged by more than $3.6 billion in 2019, weighed down by slowing U.S. sales, the cost of a botched SUV launch and some big pension expenses. U.S. sales fell 3.2% to just over 2.4 million vehicles.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett said on a conference call with analysts Tuesday that the company fell short of expectations for the year, and he blamed the drop primarily on the flubbed launch of the new Ford Explorer SUV at its factory in Chicago.

Ford makes the Escape SUV at its Louisville Assembly Plant off Fern Valley Road and Super Duty pickup trucks at Kentucky Truck Plant in eastern Jefferson County.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.