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Ford's falling sales and restructuring costs fuel losses

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Ford's falling sales and restructuring costs fuel losses

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Carmaker Ford, currently carrying out a massive restructuring of its US operations, has just reported its largest quarterly loss in 14 tears. As well as the cost of cutting staff and closing plants, Ford’s sales of profitable four-wheel-drive vehicles and pick-ups fell in the face of higher fuel prices. Ford’s new Chief Executive Alan Mulally called the results “clearly unacceptable.”

The company’s after-tax profit last year was 1.6 billion euros. In the first three months of this year it lost 950 million euros, in the second quarter 98 million, and between July and September it was 4.6 billion euros.

Ford’s sales in the US fell by 17 in the third quarter. Sales of four-wheel-drives and pickups were down by between 23% and 25% compared with the same period last year. Ford recently said it does not expect to make a profit in North America until at least 2009.

Its European car unit had a pre-tax loss of 10.3 million euros down from a 44 million euro loss in the third quarter last year. But its Premier Automotive Group, which includes Jaguar and Land Rover, saw its pretax loss widen to 472 million euros from 86 million a year ago.