Ford halves its US workforce
4 December 2006

Ford has announced that it will halve its US workforce by September 2007. Some 38,000 members of the United Auto Workers union in Ford's employ have already accepted one of the eight voluntary redundancy packages it has offered them; more are expected to follow. The job-shedding process will begin in January.

These are challenging times for the world’s third-largest car-maker. Ford sold 10 per cent fewer vehicles in the US this November compared to last: sales of Jaguars were down by 35.2 per cent, Land Rovers by 7.6 per cent. Using the same parameter, GM’s sales increased by six per cent.

But there’s bad news for General Motors too; rumours continue to circulate that billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian intends to sell all his GM shares, which could cause the company’s share value to slide considerably.

Kerkorian has been distancing himself from the company since the collapse of merger talks with Renault-Nissan. Last month he sold two batches of 14 million shares, reducing his stake from 9.9 per cent to 4.95. Even the latter figure, however, makes him GM’s largest individual investor.

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