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Ford Reports Narrower 3rd Quarter Loss

October 16, 2003

Ford Motor Co., which continues to cut costs while fighting extreme pricing competition in the United States, reported a narrower loss in the third quarter, strengthened by results from its financial services arm.

The world's second biggest automaker said today it lost $25 million, or 1 cent a share, in the July-September quarter, compared with a loss of $326 million, or 18 cents a share, a year ago.

Ford also revised upward its full-year earnings forecast from 70 cents a share to 95 cents to $1.05 a share.

In addition to a strong performance at Ford Financial, the company said intense cost cutting drove results, although it experienced another large loss in worldwide automotive operations.

Ford targeted cutting expenses by $500 million at the beginning of the year. As the company attempts to maintain global restructuring, the new cost-reduction goal is at least $3 billion. Trying to rebound from $6.4 billion in losses in 2001 and 2002, Ford has announced more than 7,700 job cuts worldwide in recent weeks.

The company said the adoption of a new accounting standard reduced third-quarter income by $264 million, or 14 cents a share. Earnings from operations before the effect of the accounting change were $237 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with a loss of $244 million, or 14 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2002.

The company said it also faced a $56 million charge in the third quarter related to job reductions in the United Kingdom and Germany and a shift reduction in Belgium. Further charges of between $550 million and $600 million are expected in the fourth quarter.

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