Sat Nov 19, 2005
(Reuters) Ford Motor Co., facing a deepening financial crisis, said on
Friday it plans to eliminate 4,000 salaried jobs, or 10 percent of its North
American white-collar work force, as part of a larger restructuring plan.
A majority of the job cuts -- announced to employees in an e-mail
distributed by Mark Fields, president of Ford's Americas business -- will be
made in the first quarter of 2006, spokesman Oscar Suris said.
The cuts will come through attrition, layoffs and the elimination of some
agency and contract positions, Suris said.
They will be in addition to the 2,750 job losses already announced by the
automaker this year,
Ford lost $284 million in the third quarter and its automotive division is
in the red. Its North American vehicle operations have lost more than $1.4
billion before taxes so far this year.
The company's shares have dropped more than 40 percent since the end of
2004. They hit $7.57 per share on Thursday, the lowest in more than two
years, before rebounding to $8.41 per share on Friday.
Ford Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford Jr. said last month that the
automaker will announce its long-awaited restructuring plan -- dubbed "Way
Forward" -- in January.
He also warned that the plan would include "significant plant closings" to
help slash costs in North America.
Fields and his team are expected to present Bill Ford with the restructuring
plan in December.
Ford, like cross-town rival General Motors Corp., has seen its margins
squeezed by intense competition in the U.S. market and by a dramatic
slowdown in sales of cash cows such as mid-size and large SUVs due to high
The two companies are also facing higher costs and a cut in their credit
ratings to high-yield, or "junk," status.
Ford has taken a number of steps this year to strengthen its balance sheet,
including the sale its Hertz Corp. rental car unit.
It also agreed to bailout former parts subsidiary Visteon Corp. and
announced that it intends to increase the production of hybrid vehicles
tenfold to 250,000 annually.
Yet another $.02 worth from a proud owner of a 1970 Mach 1 351C @