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Ford to close two US plants in 2008

By 2012, Ford plans to shutter 14 North American factories, including seven automobile assembly plants.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 13:27 IST

Automaker Ford Motor Company, struggling with high structural costs, announced that its far-reaching restructuring plans would include the closure of two US assembly plants with more than 4,300 employees.

The factories to be shut down in 2008 are in St Paul (Minnesota) and Norfolk (Virginia).

Mark Fields, head of Ford's North and South American operations, said Thursday that the cuts were regrettable but necessary.

Ford is the second-largest US-based automaker.

Like its larger rival General Motors, Ford is struggling with high costs, including pension and health care expenses to support vast numbers of retired workers, as both firms continue to lose market share to foreign-based competition.

By 2012, Ford plans to shutter 14 North American factories, including seven automobile assembly plants. The closures would eventually shed 25,000 to 30,000 workers from the company payroll.

The firm has previously announced specific closure plans for three assembly plants and two parts factories.