DEARBORN, Mich. (CP) _ Ford Credit Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F), says it has sold a number of its auto loans
for $1.2 billion Cdn.
The deal, with an unnamed financial institution, is ``the first
whole-loan sale of a portfolio of retail instalment sale
contracts,'' the company announced late Thursday.
Ford Credit Canada said it will continue to service the contracts
and will use the proceeds for general business purposes.
Parent firm Ford Motor Credit is one of the largest auto finance
companies, with about 14,000 employees and $150 billion US in
Thursday's sale is part of a streamlining of Ford Motor to focus
on its core automaking business.
In late January, the company announced plans to cut up to 30,000
jobs and close 14 plants over the next six years under a
restructuring designed to curb losses at its North American
North America's No.2 automaker plans to reduce its workforce of
122,000 people on the continent by 20 to 25 per cent _ between
25,000 to 30,000 jobs _ including about 2,300 in Canada by 2012.
Plants to be idled through 2008 include the St. Louis, Atlanta
and Michigan Wixom assembly plants, along with Batavia Transmission
in Ohio. Two other North American assembly plants to be idled will
be named later this year.
Canadian plants appeared to take less of a hit than had been
feared, but the 2,300-worker St. Thomas, Ont., assembly plant will
be reduced to one shift _ costing about 1,200 jobs there.
Including the closure of Ford's casting plant in Windsor, Ont.,
announced after contract negotiations last fall _ which will cut 500
jobs directly and may lead to as many as 1,100 job losses _ about
2,300 Canadian workers could be affected by the Ford streamlining.
The St. Thomas plant makes Grand Marquis and the Crown Victoria
vehicles, which haven't been selling well lately. By moving from two
shifts to one shift in 2007, the St. Thomas plant could be
eliminating up to half its jobs.
Ford reported earnings of $2 billion US in 2005, down 42 per cent
from last year's profit of $3.5 billion. It was the third straight
year the automaker has reported a profit, but gains in Europe, Asia
and elsewhere were offset by a loss of $1.6 billion US in North
Ford reduced employment in 2005 by 10,000 people due to layoffs,
buyouts and attrition. The Detroit-area company has around 300,000
The restructuring is Ford's second in four years. Under the first
plan, Ford closed five plants and cut 35,000 jobs, but its North
American operations failed to turn around.
On the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Ford shares closed down
10 cents to $8.16 US, on trading of 15 million shares.