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Ford plant closing costs: $2.4 billion


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -- Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday said it expects to take charges in 2006 of $2.4 billion associated with previously announced plant closings designed to help reverse losses in the automaker's North American operations.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the automaker said the $2.4 billion in charges includes a pre-tax charge of about $1.7 billion for costs associated with expected layoffs and related jobs bank benefits and voluntary termination packages.

On April 13, Ford said it planned to shutter its St. Paul, Minn., and Norfolk, Va., assembly plants by 2008 as part of a broader restructuring plan. The announcement affects over 4,300 people employed at both the plants.

Ford's restructuring plan, dubbed "Way Forward," calls for closing 14 plants, including seven assembly plants, and slashing up to 30,000 blue-collar jobs. It is designed to reverse a $1.6 billion loss last year in the company's North American operations.
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