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http://ctv2.theglobeandmail.com/ser...613/business/Business/businessBN/ctv-business

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. managers told union officials Friday that the auto maker will have to reduce the size of its factory work force further to deal with the rapidly shifting U.S. auto market, a company spokeswoman said.

Union officials were told in a meeting that the auto maker needs to make additional cost cuts “so that we can make the vehicles in an efficient way that customers are buying,” said spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari.

Ford already has announced it will make salaried job cuts.

“We have to do the same thing in our manufacturing operation,” Ms. Gattari said.

Ford managers discussed additional buyout and early retirement offers that would be targeted to specific factories, she said.

“We need the help of our local union leaders to make that happen,” Ms. Gattari said.

Earlier this year, Ford had announced corporate-wide buyout and early retirement offers for U.S. hourly workers, but only 4,200 took the offers, far below what the company had wanted.

Ford says high gas prices are sending consumers away from trucks and sport utility vehicles toward more fuel-efficient cars and crossovers. The shift will force Ford to cut production and retool some factories to make smaller vehicles.
 

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Detroit has got to come up with a more visionary plan to competitive pressures than simply cutting positions. Almost without exception, every time a loss is announced, every time there's a rise in oil prices, every time there's a shift in the market, Detroit seems to react with utter amazement and offer more cuts as the solution. Detroit has been cutting literally millions of jobs since the 1980's, their work force is much smaller, they've achieved historic concessions more recently from the Union, and yet we continue to read headlines that read similarly to what we've been treated to for the past two decades: loss of share; inappropriate models for the market; losses rather than profits; burning through existing cash reserves; sale of assets to fund non-automotive expenditures.

When does Detroit develop a winning strategy and [finally] make substantive gains against foreign-branded competition that now enjoys a majority stake in retail sales on our home turf?! How can they so consistently not get it?
 
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