MarketWatch reports that in order to bring costs in line with its drooping U.S. business, the Ford Motor Co. plans to slash up to 30,000 jobs and close at least 10 plants in the next five years.
The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker will presented the restructuring plans, dubbed the "Way Forward", to the board of directors on Wednesday. The plan, expected to be announced Jan. 23, includes the departure of as many as seven top executives.
Ford spokesman Oscar Suris declined to comment on what he described as "speculative scenarios" from the media. "A comprehensive plan is coming in January and it won't be solely about cutting costs," he said.
Mark Fields, president of Ford's Americas division, is scheduled to present the proposal for changes through 2011, with cuts deeper than many observers expected, the report said. A previous restructuring announced by Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford Jr. would have cut about 20,000 job cuts in its North American operations.
"Ford, like GM, has too much overhead, too many people and too many plants to support their current business," said Burnham Securities analyst David Healy.
The plant closures would likely include assembly lines St. Paul, Minn., and St. Louis, Mo., where it makes Explorer SUVs.