Ford Motor declared plans on Thursday to help its finances amid the coronavirus, aiming to generate more cash by restarting production next month of its most profitable vehicles while saving money through additional cost cuts.
To generate cash, the automaker was poised to resume production at some plants in North America as soon as April 6, bringing back such profitable automobiles as its best selling F-150 full-sized pickup, the Transit commercial van and SUVs.
To save cash, Ford announced belt-tightening moves, such as temporarily cutting top executives’ salaries. This came a day following Standard & Poor’s down-gradation of the automaker’s debt to “junk” status and warned more downgrades could be required.
“The actions we’re taking now are wide-ranging and significant,” CEO Jim Hackett informed workers in an email early on Thursday. “We hope they will be enough to provide Ford the financial flexibility to ride out the economic and business effects of the coronavirus.”
The coronavirus pandemic has led the shutdown of auto plants across the world.
The outbreak has put pressure on automakers, including Ford, which previously drew down credit lines to maintain its cash position and postpone its dividend.
U.S. President Donald Trump has stated he wants the US to return to business by Easter, or April 12.
Coronavirus has so far infected over 607,239 people and killed 27,674 worldwide. About 104,256 people in the US have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed 1,704 people in the country.