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Ford cuts 1,700 jobs

Ford has issued its second profit warning of the year and announced 1,700 job cuts among white-collar staff in North America, due to poor sales. It could lead to similar cuts in the UK and mainland Europe. Ford's chief financial officer, Don Leclair, said challenges were "continuing to mount" and said that the company was "evaluating options" for cuts to staff costs elsewhere in the world.

Net profits at Ford fell almost 40% to $1.2bn (£659m) in the first three months of 2005.

The slide in Ford's fortunes prompted US credit rating agency Standard and Poor's to downgrade Ford's bonds to junk earlier this year, a rating given to companies thought to be at risk of defaulting on their debt.

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