Ford to cut 10% of salaried workers in North America, Asia

Ford to cut 10% of salaried workers in North America, Asia

First Ford said it will cut 10 percent of salaried workers in North America and Asia, by attrition and voluntary buyouts. Then a few days later, the automaker announced that its CEO Mark Fields was leaving his position, to be replaced by Jim Hackett, currently head of Ford Smart Mobility LLC. The move is part of a management shakeup that will take effect June 1.

Why the changes?

Fordês sales decreased 7.1 percent in April, and its stock price is 40 percent lower than it was when Fields took over as CEO in 2014. The company has made major investments in future technologies, including artificial intelligence to develop a fully autonomous vehicle, a broader lineup of electric vehicles, and mobility services such as ride sharing. Analysts have said such investments are wise, but current product in the showroom is at least as important.

The F-series pickups continue to score high sales month after month. But one successful model lineup is not enough. Some of its other products are rather dated, says Joann Muller of Forbes. The Escape, Explorer and Fusion will not be updated until 2019. And Ford still doesnêt offer a small SUV or mid-sized pickup. They are coming in the next few years, but their absence is a problem in the current market, Muller says.

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