Ford (F) plans to cut jobs as part of its plan to remake the company with an eye towards an electric-vehicle future.
But gone are mass layoffs of the past, the company says.
Executives won’t reveal exactly how many cuts are coming, but will say they’ll be primarily concentrated in the legacy business.
“We’re working on reshaping the company to deliver our Ford+ plan, so there are some areas and some skills that we’re going to have to reduce,” CFO John Lawler told Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday. “There’s other areas and other skills that we’re going to have to increase. And we’re going to continue to invest in our ICE products, and in our battery electric vehicles, of course.”
Lawler declined, however, to comment directly on a Bloomberg report that said the company was planning to lay off some 8,000 workers.
“I’m not going to comment on speculation,” Lawler said. “What I can tell you is that many would look at our industry and say that in the past, when there were reductions, they were pretty much indiscriminate. And that’s not what we’re doing here.”
Ford CEO Jim Farley said much of the same on a conference call following the company's latest quarterly report on Wednesday.
Ford is currently in the process of reorganizing into three businesses: “Ford Blue,” including internal combustion engine (ICE) production; “Model e,” comprising the electric-vehicle business; and “Ford Pro,” its fleet unit.
Ford is planning a broad a reorientation towards EV sales, with a stated goal of producing 2 million EVs by the end of 2026. That means fewer workers will be needed to power traditional combustion engine production.
Of course, Ford isn’t the only company contemplating belt-tightening as the U.S. economy slows, with a second straight quarter of contraction in the three months ended in June.
A long list of corporations, many in the tech industry, has announced a spectrum of actions from slowdowns in hiring to outright cuts.
And Ford isn’t alone among its automotive peers, either: Tesla (TSLA) is planning to cut 10 percent of its workforce and Rivian (RIVN) is eliminating 6 percent of jobs. By contrast, General Motors (GM) said it’s not weighing layoffs.
Following a second-quarter earnings report that beat estimates, Ford shares gained as much as 5.5% on Thursday.