Report: Ford Expected to Shed Up To 24,000 Jobs By 2007

Ford Motor Co. expects to shed 22,000 to 24,000 hourly jobs in North America by the end of next year as part of its turnaround effort, according to published reports.

The automaker also will likely exceed its goal of cutting up to 30,000 hourly workers by 2012, The Detroit News reported Saturday, citing company sources it didn't identify.

Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans told The Associated Press on Saturday that she couldn't discuss estimates for how many jobs might be cut by the end of 2007 because Ford has released estimates only through the end of this year.

"I think that we are doing quite well," she said.

Ford expects 10,000 to 11,000 of its hourly workers will take early retirement or buyout offers this year, Evans said. Including workers leaving through attrition will bring that to about 12,000, she said.

So far, about 5,750 workers have accepted buyouts, she said.

Ford is about six months into a North American turnaround plan announced in January that calls for closing 14 plants by 2012 and cutting up to 30,000 hourly workers. At the time, the automaker had about 87,000 hourly workers and 35,000 salaried workers in North America.