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Ford Forecasts More Than $1.5 Billion 2013 European Loss

Ford Motor Co., estimating losses of more than $1.5 billion in Europe in 2012, forecast similar losses there this year before turnaround efforts lead it back to profitability in the region by mid-decade.

The second-biggest U.S. automaker expects this year’s result to be “essentially the same as what we’ll announce for 2012 later this month,” Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said today at the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference in Detroit. After this year, the company “would expect to start to see an improvement in the bottom line on the way towards profitability by mid-decade” in Europe, he said.

Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally, who revealed plans in October to close three European factories, is attempting to engineer a turnaround by adapting a strategy similar to what has worked in the U.S. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker had forecast a 2012 loss in Europe of more than $1.5 billion.

Ford had a pretax loss of $468 million in Europe in the third quarter, from a loss of $306 million a year earlier. The automaker lost $553 million in Europe in the year’s first half. Ford plans to release fourth-quarter results on Jan. 29.

Ford has said it plans to cut 6,200 workers in Europe, or 13 percent of its workforce there. The company plans to close a Transit van plant in Southampton, England, this year along with a stamping plant in Dagenham, on the outskirts of London.

In 2014, Ford plans to close a factory in Genk, Belgium, that builds the Mondeo mid-sized car, the S-Max wagon and the Galaxy minivan.

General Motors Co. is the largest U.S. automaker.

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