(Adds details, prior investments, current stock price)
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON May 19 Ford Motor Co said
Friday it would invest $350 million to upgrade its Livonia
transmission plant in Michigan as the company expands its lineup
The investment is part of the company's previously disclosed
commitment to invest $9 billion and create or retain 8,500
hourly jobs in its U.S. facilities in the next few years.
Last year, the No. 2 U.S. automaker announced it was
investing a separate $1.4 billion in the Livonia transmission
plant near Detroit. The company said Friday employment at the
Livonia plant has risen from about 1,550 last year to 1,800. The
company did not say how many additional jobs it will add.
The automaker announced earlier this week it was cutting
1,400 salaried jobs in North America and Asia as it looks to
boost its sagging stock price. The company plans to cut $3
billion in costs.
But Ford said it is not cutting its hourly workforce or
production. Automakers have been under pressure from President
Donald Trump to add jobs or build U.S. new plants.
Ford has invested $12 billion in its U.S. plants and created
nearly 28,000 U.S. jobs during the last five years.
The company continues to churn out strong profits, reporting
a record $10.4 billion in pretax earnings in 2016, and expects
to earn around $9 billion this year.
But it is under pressure to boost its stock price. Ford
shares are down nearly 40 percent since Mark Fields took over as
chief executive officer in July 2014 and closed at a nearly
four-and-half-year low earlier this week.
Ford shares rose 1 percent in trading Friday.
The automaker is offering financial incentives, including
generous early retirement offers, to encourage salaried
employees to depart voluntarily by the end of September.
Investors are worried about slowing sales and an industry that
could be dominated by autonomous vehicles and car sharing in the
(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru and David Shepardson in
Washington; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Alistair Bell)