Ford Motor Co. isn't as optimistic as it was a few months ago. In a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company announced on Tuesday that it was lowering its worldwide market share prediction for 2006, saying it is likely market share will decline for the year. Previously Ford had forecast improved market share for the year.

Without giving specific market share predictions, Ford  blamed challenges in a key market - full-size trucks and SUVs - caused by rising fuel prices and new-product launches by its competition. Ford also highlighted challenges created by the new CAFE fuel economy standards, and the possibility that those standards could become even more stringent after the federal courts rule on challenges to the new standards for light trucks, which a number of states, led by California, believe to be too lenient.

In the same SEC filing, the company stated that it plans to close seven North American plants between 2010 and 2012, as part of its "Way Forward" restructuring plan.

[Source: Reuters]

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