Ford CEO talks of plans to fix automaker

Sept. 4, 2006 at 12:55 PM

DETROIT, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford Jr. says the No. 2 automaker has plans to fix its problems in North America.

In an interview with Newsweek, Ford said, "We understand that it requires extraordinary action, and we are taking that." The interview was posted on Newsweek's Web site.

The Detroit News said the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker plans to announce its third restructuring in five years later this month. The announcement would be an extension of the company's January plan when it said it would cut 30,000 jobs and close 14 plants in North America by 2012.

Bill Ford's comments to Newsweek were similar to what he said in an e-mail to employees last Friday.

"The business model that sustained us for decades is no longer sufficient to sustain profitability," he said in the employee e-mail.

Ford already has decided to sell Britain-based Aston Martin. The Sunday Times of London says likely buyers could include a management group led by Aston Martin Chief Executive Ulrich Bez and a private equity firm headed by former Ford CEO Jacques Nasser.

Ford's North American losses have continued in 2006, with a first half loss of $1.44 billion.

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