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TEXT OF STORY
BRIAN WATT: Let’s hope Alan Mulally doesn’t pull up to the board meeting today in his Lexus. Mulally’s the new CEO of the Ford Motor Company. And he’s got his work cut out for him. Today, the Board of the struggling automaker is expected to discuss another phase of a massive restructuring plan. Sarah Gardner looks at what might be coming next.
SARAH GARDNER: Ford has already announced 14 plant closings and the elimination of 34,000 jobs, but the company’s still bleeding money and Wall Street’s pushing for more drastic measures.
Auto industry watcher John McElroy expects Ford will idle factories sooner, cut more jobs, and make buyout offers to all hourly workers, just like GM did.
JOHN MCELROY:“The only thing that’ll be on the positive side will come some years down the road when Ford gets this massive restructuring cost out of the way and emerges with fewer employees and younger employees.”
Ford will eventually cut products too, not just people. David Cole at Michigan’s Center for Automotive Research says goodbye minivans, hello smaller cars.
DAVID COLE:“The day of Ford trying to be all things to all people is probably over.”
Ford’s North American operations lost $1.6 billion last year. Bigger losses are expected for 2006.
I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.
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