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Ford plans to cut up to 8,000 jobs - Bloomberg News

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(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co is preparing to cut up to 8,000 jobs in the coming weeks in a bid to reduce costs and intensify its focus on electric vehicles, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The cuts are expected in Ford's salaried workforce, as well as the Ford Blue unit created in March to run the company's internal combustion engine operations, Bloomberg reported. The cuts, whose details have not been finalized and could change, may be made in phases and are likely to begin this summer. (https://bloom.bg/3aTY7TW)

A Ford spokesman said the company does not comment on speculation, but it has scheduled a Thursday conference call to update investors on its plans to achieve annual EV production targets of 600,000 vehicles by 2023 and more than 2 million by the end of 2026.

"To deliver our Ford+ transformation and lead this exciting and disruptive new era of electric and connected vehicles, we remain focused on reshaping our work and modernizing our organization across all automotive business units and across the company," Ford spokesman T.R. Reid said in a statement.

"As part of this, we have laid out clear targets to lower our cost structure to ensure we are lean and fully competitive with the best in the industry," he added.

In March, Ford boosted spending on EVs through 2026 to $50 billion from its prior target of $30 billion, and reorganized its operations into separate units focused on EVs and gasoline-powered vehicles with Ford Model e and Ford Blue, respectively.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based company also said at the time that its EV business would not be profitable until the next-generation models begin production in 2025.

Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley said in February at a Wolfe Research conference the U.S. automaker's opportunity to cut costs in its internal combustion engine operation was on the structural side. "We have too many people," he said.

"This management team firmly believes that our ICE and BEV portfolios are under-earning," he added, referring to battery electric vehicles, or BEVs.

(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Richard Chang)