Ford to carry out 1400 job cuts in the United States and Asia

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The report said the estimated 20,000 layoffs will mostly affect salaried employees, a majority of whom work in North America, as the No. 2 USA automaker works to increase its profits and stock prices.

Ford shares fell as much as 2.5 percent in heavy trading and were headed to their worst close since November 2012 as the broader markets tumbled over the political turmoil in Washington.

Certain areas of the business won't be targeted, including its product development and credit divisions.

The company's operations in Europe and South America are also excluded because they have already undergone cutbacks, the company said. He laid off 1,400 of the company's salaried workers in Asia and North America. Salaried and hourly workers in Ford's plants won't be affected.

The BBC reports that the automaker will offer financial incentives and voluntary retirement to about 15,000 salaried workers as it looks to slash costs on the back of declining profits and shrinking sales. Ford said it expects it will hit the targets through voluntary offers, spokesman Mike Moran said.

Despite consistent profitability amid near-record global automotive sales, the Dearborn, Mich. -based automaker said in a statement that it must focus on "becoming as lean and efficient as possible".

The offer will be open to about 15,300 workers, including 9,600 in the US, 1,000 in Mexico, 600 in Canada and 4,141 in Asia.

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In 2016, Ford cut hundreds of white-collar jobs in Europe to reduce costs by $US200 million ($269 million) annually. The project is expected to take 10 years to complete and is estimated to cost at least $1 billion.

Ford is getting leaner as it faces an onslaught of challenges, from slowing US sales to high-tech challengers to its own disgruntled shareholders.

Ford has been under pressure in recent days from its investors and board of directors to improve its financial performance and boost its stock price.

Ford said in January it was cancelling a planned Mexico plant and adding 700 jobs in MI. Automakers are trimming costs as they brace for slowing auto sales. Ford also isn't likely to cut jobs in its emerging businesses, such as its research center in Palo Alto, California.

Ford's market capitalization has been surpassed by Tesla Inc, which has sold just a fraction of Ford vehicles.

In a similar fashion, Ford past year slashed hundreds of white-collar positions in Europe, trimming annual costs by $200 million. "I think investors understand our strategy".

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