Ford Motor Credit, the lending and financing arm of

Ford Motor

(F) - Get Report

, will cut about 20% of its U.S. staff, or about 1,200 jobs, as part of a restructuring plan announced during meetings with employees Wednesday, according to reports.

The move comes about because of a decline in sales as well as the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover to India's

Tata Motors

, said Ford Motor Credit spokeswoman Margaret Mellott, reports the

Detroit Free Press


"When Ford sold those brands, we began transitioning the financial services part of that business to new providers," Mellott said, according to the newspaper. "Ford Credit is restructuring its U.S. operations. This will help us meet the changing business conditions."

Automotive News

reports the jobs will be eliminated by the end of July.

More details will be shared Thursday when Ford and the finance unit release fourth-quarter and full-year earnings reports.

The Ford Credit job cuts will begin in mid-February, Mellott said,

Automotive News

reports. The jobs reduction will be achieved primarily through involuntary layoffs and include some planned attrition and retirement. Ford Credit's headquarters in suburban Detroit, regional business centers and field staff will be affected.

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

announced Monday it planned to cut 2,000 jobs at plants in Michigan and Ohio, and slow production at nine other plants.

This article was written by a staff member of