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Ford said planning layoffs

July 18, 2003 at 12:05 PM

DETROIT, July 18 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. reportedly expects to eliminate up to 2,000 white-collar jobs in North America later this year.

Ford executives, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Detroit Free Press the cost-cutting is needed to meet long-range targets, part of a global effort to shave salary-related expenses by 10 percent, less than half coming from job cuts.

The No. 2 automaker has about 45,000 salaried positions in North America.

Chairman and CEO William Clay Ford Jr. told his top executives late last month that they would have to accelerate cost-cutting to keep the company's 5-year revitalization plan on track in light of heavy competition, falling market share and record incentives.

Ford told the executives: "Even if the outside world gets worse, we have to meet our targets."

Ford formally opened contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers Friday.

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