Ford Motor Co announced plans on Thursday to shore up its finances amid the coronavirus pandemic, aiming to generate more cash by resuming production next month of its most profitable vehicles while saving money through further cost cuts.
To generate cash, the No. 2 U.S. automaker was poised to restart production at some plants in North America as early as April 6, bringing back such profitable vehicles as its top-selling F-150 full-sized pickup, the Transit commercial van and SUVs.
Meanwhile, to further conserve cash - a day after Standard & Poor's downgraded the Dearborn, Michigan-based company's debt to "junk" status and warned more downgrades could be necessary - Ford also announced belt-tightening moves, including temporarily cutting the salaries of top executives.
"The actions we're taking now are wide-ranging and substantial," Chief Executive Jim Hackett told employees in an email early on Thursday. "We hope they will be enough to give Ford the financial flexibility to ride out the economic and business effects of the coronavirus."
The coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 21,000 people globally, has forced the shutdown of auto plants around the world.
The outbreak has put pressure on companies, including Ford, which previously drew down credit lines to build its cash position and suspended its dividend.
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a $2 trillion economic rescue package to help unemployed workers and companies, including the auto industry, hit hard by the outbreak.
President Donald Trump, concerned about