Well, the details of Ford's "Way Forward" restructuring plan are becoming public, and it's not good news. Bill Ford Jr. and the company's executives are giving the board of directors an in-depth briefing today and Thusday on the details of the plan, and The Detroit News disclosed some of the key points.
The plant closings and job cuts are deeper than we expected, with at least 10 assembly and parts plants to close, and 25,000 to 30,000 jobs to be cut over five years. (As of the end of 2004, Ford employed about 99,000 union workers in the U.S. and Canada.)

Already announced were Ford's plans to cut about 4,000 white collar jobs in early 2006, on top of 2,750 salaried positions axed in 2005.

Plant closing information isn't available, and likely won't be final even when the plan is officially released in January. It's probable that offers of state and local government support (incentives, tax breaks) to save some plants will figure into the final decision.

Ford will release the "Way Forward" in late January, on the heels of media buzz created by new product unveilings at the L.A. and Detroit auto shows. Mark Fields, the new president of Ford Americas, will outline his new brand strategy in his keynote address at the L.A. Auto Show January 4th. He's expected to emphasize attracting young buyers to Ford's brands.

Autoblog will be at the L.A. and Detroit auto shows - sounds like there will be a lot to report! Stay tuned…

[Thanks for the tips, everyone!]

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