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Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Losses persist at Ford
Lincoln Town Car
Ford will reduce its workforce by 35,000 people
The huge losses that blighted Ford Motor last year and cost its chief executive his job have continued into 2002, although their size has been reduced.

The company made a net loss of $800m (554m) in the first three months of this year, its fourth quarterly loss in a row and a huge slide from the first quarter of 2001, which had returned a profit of $1.06bn.

Not including one-off costs, such as a $708m charge related to an investment in UK car repair firm Kwik-Fit, the loss per share was 6 cents.

Analysts had been expecting worse losses of up to 15 cents a share.

Sales were $39.86bn, down 6% on the year before.

Decline and fall

Last October Ford's chief executive Jacques Nasser was ousted after losses at the firm piled up.

Ford posted a $5.07bn loss for the period between October and December, mostly caused by a $4bn charge for restructuring the business.

Mr Nasser presided over a period in which Ford had to recall thousands of its hugely popular Explorer sports utility vehicle and had lost $2bn after a scandal involving faulty tyres from Firestone.

Another $1bn was lost when its stockpile of the rare metal palladium, used in catalytic converters, became redundant thanks to new technology developed by its own engineers.

Back in charge

The Ford family has now taken back the helm of the company, and Bill Ford - the new chief executive - has launched a major restructuring of the company.

He has said the firm should be breaking even this year and back in regular profit by the middle of the decade.

But the predictions rely on the assumption that car sales in the US will at least stay at current levels, and that Ford will retain a 19% market share.

See also:

03 Mar 02 | Business
Car industry goes to Geneva
28 Feb 02 | Business
Automotive Empires
17 Jan 02 | Business
Ford hit by $5bn loss
12 Jan 02 | Americas
Ford workers brace for closure
11 Jan 02 | Business
Ford hit by 'perfect storm' of woes
11 Jan 02 | Business
Ford takes job cuts to 35,000
05 Dec 01 | Business
Ford warns of steep losses
03 Dec 01 | Business
Ford cuts more jobs as sales flag
17 Oct 01 | Business
Ford reports huge loss
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