That's according to Morgan Stanley analysts, who in a research note on Monday indicated that Ford's restructuring is likely to be "more extensive" than GM's (GM - Get Report) -- and could involve laying off tens of thousands of employees globally.
The analysts used Ford's planned expenses as part of their calculations and compared them to General Motors Co's expenses in the latter's planned restructuring announced last week.
"Extrapolated to Ford's planned expenditure, this could imply 20 plants and up to (50,000) employees," they said. "Our estimate of Ford's restructuring plan involves as many as (25,000) headcount reductions globally."
Ford last October announced an $11 billion restructuring plan, with a cash cost around $7 billion, but has yet to provide specifics. GM a week ago unveiled its plans to spend up to $3.8 billion to close seven plants and lay off approximately 14,000 workers in North America.
The analysts did note that "a large portion" of Ford's restructuring actions would likely be in Europe. They also reiterated that Ford "has not given any indication of planned closures or potential layoffs to date," and that cost-cutting measures and layoffs are "not just a GM or a Ford thing."
"There are bigger forces at work driving global OEMs to rethink the fundamental idea of supporting increasingly obsolete segments, propulsion systems, and geographic regions," they said. Another big reason: the move to electric vehicles, which thanks to Tesla Inc. (TSLA - Get Report) is already spurring the Big Three and other auto makers to completely re-think their focus.
Shares of Ford were up 23 cents, or 2.44%, at $9.64 in mid-afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The auto maker's shares are down approximately 23% this year. GM shares, meantime, were up 61 cents, or 1.61%, to $38.54. GM shares are down about 6% this year.