Ford to cut 25 percent of its capacity

Jan. 20, 2006 at 2:28 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. plans to close at least 10 factories across North America and eliminate 25,000 hourly jobs.

In an announcement set for Monday, the financially ailing automaker will announce a 25 percent capacity reduction and staff cuts that, with layoffs among salaried workers, will reach 30,000, the Wall Street Journal said Friday. Among plant set to be closed are facilities in St. Louis and Atlanta.

Ford also will reveal its decision to leave the minivan business. Such sales at the financially ailing company, which lost $1.34 billion in North America during last year's first three quarters, sank sharply in 2005: Ford Freestar sales were down 25.1 percent from 2004 and Mercury Monterey sales were off 53.1 percent.

"We have to pick and choose where we want to compete," Mark Fields, Ford's executive vice president and president of the Americas, said in an interview with the Journal last week. "The idea you have to be in all the segments, that's an old way of thinking."

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