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Ford has announced that it will give both bonuses and merit-based raises to the company's salaried workers in the United States and Canada for the first time since 2008, according to Reuters. On average, the manufacturer will offer a 2.7 percent salary increase based on individual performance. The company stopped offering the bonuses after the financial crisis of 2009 sent automotive sales into a plunge. Ford paid neither bonuses nor merit raises that year, but offered merit raises in 2010. In 2011, the company's workers received bonuses only.

Of course, this decision has sent all eyes toward General Motors and Chrysler and their plans for their own workers. According to The Detroit News, both GM and Chrysler have said raises and bonuses will be determined by their own performance, not their rival's actions. GM has announced the company will make a final decision after it analyzes its financial results for 2011. Chrysler, meanwhile, intends to announce its fourth-quarter 2011 results on February 1, after which it will determine whether its workers will be eligible for their yearly awards.