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Ford of Europe confident of achieving 2004 loss reduction target

Ford of Europe chairman Lewis Booth has told the German magazine Automobilwoche he is confident the firm will cut its losses this year from last year’s $1.1bn (£315.5m) pre-tax level to $100-$200m (£55.9m-£111m).

Ford’s confidence is based partly on expectations that the new Focus, due in November, will absorb all of Ford of Germany’s assembly capacity, and on cost reductions achieved by platform-sharing and common procurement with Volvo and Mazda.

Although the popularity of related models such as the current Focus-based MPV are admitted to be likely to reduce volumes for the base hatchback by comparison with the first-generation Focus and its Escort predecessors, derivatives of the new model are thought likely to be launched early on – and one could be a production version of a cabriolet concept to be shown at the Paris Motor Show next week.

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