The cuts, telegraphed by Ford in May, when it warned it would not meet its long-standing goal of returning to profitability in 2009, will come as the automaker adjusts to a deeper-than-expected slump in U.S. vehicle sales, led by declines in sales of pickup trucks and SUVs.
"We told employees today we are going to cut salaried work force-related expenses by 15 percent and complete the actions by August 1," said Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans.
"This does include reductions in headcount and contract jobs, attrition and consolidation of positions," she said.
Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker, has about 24,300 salaried workers in North America. It warned employees in May that cuts in production would force a reduction in its salaried and hourly work force.
Salaried workers who are dismissed will be offered standard company severance packages. Ford does not disclose details of the packages.
The automaker plans to offer buyouts to union-represented hourly workers at plants where the company has excess capacity due to declining demand for specific vehicles such as trucks and SUVs.
More than 38,000 United Auto Workers union-represented workers have left Ford through buyout programs, including about 4,200 who accepted offers that wrapped up in early 2008.
Ford executives have said the sharp rise in U.S. gas prices above $3.50 per gallon triggered a permanent shift in demand to cars and crossovers and away from larger vehicles.
The company has been shifting production plans toward smaller vehicles, including introducing a Fiesta subcompact in North America in 2010 that will be built in Mexico.
(Reporting by Soyoung Kim and David Bailey, editing by Gerald E. McCormick/Jeffrey Benkoe)"