Radical surgery on Ford Motor Co.

Sept. 15, 2006 at 7:47 AM
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DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. will lay off 14,000 salaried workers, close more North American factories and says it still won't make money until 2009.

Friday's announcement comes just hours after Ford offered buyouts worth as much as $140,000 per worker to all its 75,000 North American hourly workers.

The company, which lost $1.44 billion in the first half of this year, will stop paying dividends and add two factories to its closure list. So far nine factories are set to be shuttered, a 26-percent capacity reduction that will leave the once-mighty carmaker with a 3.6-million vehicle capacity.

The white-collar layoffs, which will be complete in six months, mark a 10,000-person increase in the existing staff reduction plan. Further, its previously announced plan to cut as many as 30,000 hourly workers by 2012 will now take place by year-end 2008.

Despite the actions, Ford said it won't earn any money for the next two years.

It will not sell Ford Credit, which it called a "strategic asset" and while admitting that its Premier Automotive Group, which includes Aston Martin and Volvo, are losing money, it did not reveal divesture plans.

One analyst called Friday's announcement "radical surgery," and executive chairman Bill Ford simply termed it "painful."

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