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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK
Ford promises $1bn extra cost-cuts
Ford Expedition SUV
Ford is still reliant on the US economy
Shares in US car maker Ford have jumped by more than 12%, after chairman and chief executive Bill Ford said he was seeking an extra $1bn (650m) in cost cuts.

The proposed cuts, announced at a meeting of analysts and investors, would be over and above an already sweeping austerity programme at the car giant.

The programme aims to shield Ford from any possible downturn next year in the US economy, to which it is highly vulnerable.

Like all major automotive firms, Ford has suffered over the past year from the US economic slowdown, which has left customers highly reluctant to change their cars so frequently.

Profits boost

Mr Ford, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, said the cost cuts could help the firm achieve its goal of boosting annual profits to $7bn by mid-decade.

The company has already squeezed out cost cuts worth some $6bn.

"I have no idea what next year's going to hold... We are notoriously poor predictors," Mr Ford said.

Mr Ford said it was too early to say where the axe would fall, but indicated that cuts will be made in general overheads, and not from the development of new products.

He said a list of possible cuts was being drawn up for review.


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