Ford is to cut between 25,000 and 30,000 jobs and close 14 plants as it aims to stem the losses of its car-making business. The US auto giant confirmed today that while its entire operation had a net income of $124m (£69m) in the final three months of last year, its car business still lost $12m (£6.9m).
The figure for the whole brand was improved by the sale of the Hertz rental car firm.
The job losses are part of Ford's 'Way Forward' plan, announced this afternoon. The plant closures will be phased through to 2012 and will include seven vehicle assembly plants in North America. Ford also plans to reduce its capacity by 26 per cent by 2008, and to build 250,000 hybrid vehicles by 2010 as it tries to explore niche markets.
Ford's CEO Bill Ford commented, 'We accomplished many things in 2005, including the successful launch of the new Ford Focus, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr, introduction of the company's new innovation initiative, completion of the sale of Hertz and an agreement with the UAW [car workers union] to help reduce rising health care costs. Excluding North America, our automotive operations made great progress in 2005; we must keep working to improve our business in each and every region.'