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Old 09-25-2002, 07:31   #1 (permalink)
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Ford sees U.S. Q4 output increase

Reuters / September 25, 2002
PARIS -- Ford Motor Co. Chairman and CEO Bill Ford said on Wednesday the company plans to increase its U.S. vehicle production in the fourth quarter amid stronger-than-expected industry sales.
Ford, whose family controlled company is in the midst of a wrenching turnaround after losing $5.45 billion last year, announced the increase at an automotive seminar ahead of the Paris Auto show.
Ford did not specify the amount of the year-on-year increase or to which vehicles it would apply, but later told reporters it was "not a lot."

In early September, the automaker announced it would build 960,000 vehicles in North America during the fourth quarter, bringing its total North American production forecast for the year to 4.126 million vehicles. It said it would build 940,000 vehicles in the third quarter.

A Ford spokesman said the fourth quarter production increase would take the company above the 960,000 level, and further details would most likely be released with Ford's third quarter financial results, to be issued on October 16.

In a sign of surprising strength, U.S. car and truck sales surged 13.2 percent year-on-year in August to their highest level all year as consumers shrugged off fears about the economy and seized on interest-free loans and hefty cash rebates to buy new vehicles at a near-record pace.

Automakers generally book earnings on vehicles when they leave the factory, ahead of any retail sales. The company has said it intends to make a modest profit in 2002, and Ford repeated previous guidance that the firm would be profitable in the third quarter.
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