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Variance

Ford to soon announce turnaround plan-CEO

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Link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050824/bs_nm/autos_ford_dc

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F - news) will soon announce a new restructuring plan to return its key North American vehicle operations to profitability, Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford Jr. said on Tuesday.

"I would say before fall gets too old," the family scion told reporters when asked about the timing of the announcement.

The automaker has said it is working on more restructuring actions to halt steep losses in its North American business.

Strong competition, soaring health-care and raw material costs, and a slide in U.S. market share forced the second-largest U.S. automaker to slash its profit forecast twice this year. Ford's North American auto operations swung to a pretax loss of $1.21 billion, including charges, in the second quarter.

"It will encompass a lot of things, an affordable business structure ... some new things we are going to announce that will surprise people positively," Bill Ford said, referring to the restructuring plan.

"It will be really, in my mind, a rather comprehensive announcement," he added. He declined to be more specific.

Ford, speaking to reporters in Detroit after an address to business leaders where he paid tribute to departing Chrysler Group CEO Deiter Zetsche who is heading back to Germany to lead DaimlerChrysler, said the company has not decided on a date for the announcement yet, but he indicated it would not be before October.

The automaker has not ruled out deeper job cuts in Ford's salaried work force or the closing of manufacturing plants. Ford, which has said its global automotive business will post a loss this year, announced earlier that it will cut its North American white-collar work force by 8 percent in 2005.

Bill Ford has been holding off-site meetings with a small group of top executives in the last two months to hash out additional cost-cutting moves, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.

"What we are facing, although very difficult, is something that we absolutely can and will emerge from," Ford said.

He also said the automaker is looking at ways to increase production of hybrid vehicles and expand its offerings.

"I would like to get more hybrids out of our system because I do think it's something that is here to stay," he said.

Ford, which entered the hybrid market last fall with the introduction of the hybrid version of its Escape sport utility vehicle, has already advanced its plans to launch more hybrids in the United States due to the rising popularity of the gas-sipping vehicles.

"I am looking at finding a way to expand that further," Bill Ford said.

Edited by VarianceJ30
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Umm, didn't he already announce one turnaround plan? It would seem this is his second (and probably last) attempt to turn the company around.
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Market Share Numbers GM/Ford 1989: 35.1/22.3 1999: 29.4/24.8 (Ford Includes Trustmarks and GM Saab) 2000: 28.3/24.1 (Ford Includes Trustmarks and GM Saab) 2001: 28.0/23.0 (Ford Includes Trustmarks and GM Saab) 2004: 27.2/19.5 (Ford Includes Trustmarks and GM Saab) 2005: 27.1/18.4 (Ford Includes Trustmarks and GM Saab) Here is the latest China sales. Company Sales Jan.-June ’05 GM 307,749 VW 179,722 Hyundai Motor 152,363 Honda 117,761 Toyota 48,954 Note: Figures exclude imports Source: GM, Automotive Resources Asia Ford Stock: 8/24/2005 $9.95 5/26/1999 $32.9662
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Petra Presents:

The Corprate-Speak Translator!

Ford Motor Co. will soon announce a new restructuring plan to return its key North American vehicle operations to profitability, Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford Jr. said on Tuesday.

Translated:

"Ford Motor Co. will soon announce a new wave of massive job cuts and layoffs in their ongoing struggle to return its key North American vehicle operation to profitability, without having to go through the trouble of designing vehicles people actually want, Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford Jr. said on Tuesday."
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