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Thu, Oct 02, 2003 - Page 12 News List

Ford Motor Co to terminate more than 3,000 jobs

AP , DETROIT

Ford Motor Co will eliminate 1,700 contract workers, 1,300 vacant salaried positions and 50 salaried employees in North America by the end of the year, the automaker said Tuesday.

The cutbacks are linked to Ford's announcement in July that it hoped to cut 10 percent of costs associated with its salaried automotive work force by the end of the year, said Ford spokesman Oscar Suris.

Jim Padilla, president of Ford North America, notified workers of the latest measures in an internal memo Tuesday, Suris said.

Suris declined to say if the 3,050 reductions would allow the automaker to reach its 10 percent goal or if further cuts were needed.

"This is an objective we're seeking to achieve by year's end," he said.

The 1,700 contract employees who will lose their jobs work for outside staffing agencies.

In another cost-cutting move, Ford's German division said Monday it plans to trim about 1,700 jobs, or 6 percent of its work force, also by year's end -- a decision that follows a large second-quarter loss for the automaker's European arm.

Ford-Werke AG hopes to shed some 700 administrative posts and 1,000 blue-collar jobs by offering a voluntary retirement and compensation package, Ford spokesman Wolfgang Riecker said.

Riecker cited the company's financial difficulties, along with the "extremely difficult competitive situation," as reasons for the decision.

Ford has some 20,600 employees in Cologne and about 7,300 at its other German site in Saarlouis.

The world's second-largest automaker is in the midst of an aggressive restructuring plan launched in January last year that includes a goal of improving profits by US$9 billion by mid-decade.

Ford lost US$6.4 billion in 2001 and last year but earned US$1.3 billion in the first half of this year. The company reports third-quarter earnings Oct. 16.

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