Updated: Ford has confirmed that it’s met its cost-cutting goal of reducing its North American white-collar employee costs by 15% but has warned that it’s prepared to make further cuts should the need arise. Several thousand of Ford's 23,800 salary workers in North America were expected to leave through a combination of layoffs and attrition, and Ford is yet to confirm the exact number. Before the latest round of cuts, Ford said it had already reduced its salary workforce by 10,800 jobs since the end of 2005. The latest round of cuts is expected to be similar in size.

In a press conference for Ford's upcoming 2009 models, Ford's North and South American President, Mark Fields, stated that engine and transmission developments would gain the brunt of Ford's expenditure as the company downsizes its vehicles and makes them more efficient.

The Blue Oval isn't the only company making cuts to its white collar workforce, with both Chrysler and GM announcing similar cuts previously. The Detroit 3 has struggled to adapt to shifting market demand, but remaining competitive through cost-cutting continues to remain a top priority.

Original: With all the reports about American shift workers from the Detroit 3 being axed as part of the sweeping turnaround plans in the industry, it’s easy to forget that a significant number of white collar jobs are also being shed. Ford has been one of the most active in cutting its full time force and is expected to announce later today that it will cut a further 15% of its salaried workers.

Ford today sent an email to its salaried workers telling them that it plans to reduce salaried-related costs by 15% as it intensifies its restructuring plan in the face of a worsening U.S. economy. In the email, which was obtained by the Detroit Free Press, Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, told employees the cuts would be made by August 1 and that most of the job cuts will be involuntary separations of Ford employees and agency personnel.

Ford currently has 23,400 salaried employees, down 32% from 2005, when the company first started restructuring. Ford has also announced that it will be reducing production of its pickup and SUV models and has pushed back its target for a return to profitability to after 2009.