Ford reportedly offering buyouts to 15,000 employees

A metro Detroit automotive expert says not to be alarmed about the reports suggesting Ford is offering buyouts to more than 15,000 salaried employees.

"These buyouts are targeted toward people in marketing, in sales, in legal, and those kinds of professions. They're not allowing buyouts in product development, technology, developing self-driving cars - areas where it's hard to find people," says automotive expert and WWJ reporter Jeff Gilbert.

With the voluntary buyouts, Ford hopes to reduce its number of global white-collar employees by 1,400.

"It's not a large number, and I would imagine, as you look at the overall head count of Ford, they're talking about cutting 1,400 jobs but adding in so many other areas. It's probably going to end up being close to a wash," Gilbert says.

And while the idea of buyouts can trigger fear, Gilbert says there is nothing to worry about in this case.

"We went through the recession; we saw buyouts followed by layoffs and that immediately gets people nervous. That's not what we're seeing. This is more of a tweak along the road as Ford looks at its future strategy and says we don't need people this much in this area, we need them more in the other area," Gilbert says.

These voluntary buyouts were reportedly already in the works before Ford announced its new CEO, Jim Hackett.