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7,000 jobs cut during Ford '03 downsizing
Automaker says it is on track in plan to earn $2 billion in '04
January 10, 2004

Ford Motor Co. eliminated 7,000 hourly, salaried and contract positions in 2003 in North America, the company said Friday.

Chief Financial Officer Don Leclair said he expects the company to meet its goal of cutting 35,000 jobs worldwide by the end of the year or early 2005. That objective was defined in a sweeping revitalization plan Ford executives outlined during the North American International Auto Show two years ago.

Like the Chrysler Group and General Motors Corp., which have also shed tens of thousands of jobs in the last three years, Ford is turning its attention to cutting the cost of making models like the F-150 and perfectly launching new models, like the Five Hundred sedan and Freestyle crossover vehicle it unveiled at this year's show.

"In North America, in particular, the shift from our cost phase to the product phase is going to be very apparent," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford told Wall Street experts in a presentation of this year's financial goals at the company's headquarters in Dearborn.

Executives said the company expects to earn $1.85 billion to $2.04 billion this year.

(Full story here)
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