DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. is planning substantial job cuts in order to boost profits and raise its stock price, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The newspaper says the cuts would target salaried employees and would reduce Ford's global headcount by an equivalent of 10 percent. Ford has 200,000 employees globally, half of whom work in North America.
Ford didn't confirm the report Monday night.
In a statement, the company said it's focused on reducing costs and improving efficiency. But Ford said it hasn't announced any job cuts and won't comment on speculation.
The Journal says, "Deep job cuts in the U.S. could trigger a political backlash at the White House, as President Donald Trump has repeatedly pointed to auto makers like Ford as examples of companies adding U.S. jobs."
Investors are concerned that U.S. sales are peaking and Ford's market share is slipping. "Ford has said it expects its profits to fall in 2017 and has flagged slowing sales in the U.S. and China-two of the world's largest auto markets," the Journal notes.
Ford's shares have lost more than a third of their value since Mark Fields became CEO in 2014. Electric car maker Tesla Inc. recently surpassed Ford in market value even though it sells far fewer vehicles.