Ford Motor Company Reports Huge Losses…Will Cut Jobs

The Ford Motor Company reported a $3 billion quarterly operating loss this morning and said it would reduce its staff and capital spending in order to preserve its dwindling cash.

From CNN Money:

Ford said it would cut salaried employment costs by 10% – reducing compensation of its white collar workers by eliminating merit pay, bonuses and the company’s matching contributions to their retirement accounts.

But even with those savings, the company said it’s likely to lay off more salaried staffers. It also said hourly staff – mostly factory workers covered by union contracts – would be reduced by an additional 2,600 through a voluntary buyout package.

The company, which earlier this year sold brands such as Jaguar and Land Rover, said it would continue to look to sell assets.

Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally warned that while the company is confident that it is taking the right steps to respond to the downturn, it does not see a quick turnaround in demand for autos in either North America or Europe.

“We believe the downturn in industry volume will be broader, deeper and longer than previously expected,” he said during a conference call. Sales volume isn’t expected to improve until 2010, he said.

Ford’s loss came to $1.31 a share, excluding special items, far worse than the penny a share loss it reported on that basis a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by earnings tracker Thomson Reuters had forecast a loss of 93 cents a share.

The company had a one-time gain of $2.2 billion, related to the accounting of its retiree health care expenses. With that gain, it reported a net loss of $129 million, or 6 cents a share, an improvement from the $380 million, or 19 cents a share, it lost on that basis a year earlier.

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