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Ford in Germany Announces Layoffs

The Ford Motor Company's German division has said it will cut some 1,700 jobs, or about 6 percent of its work force, in an attempt to lower costs. The decision comes after a large second-quarter loss for Ford's European arm. Executives say they hope to shed the 700 administrative posts and 1,000 blue-collar jobs by the end of the year through voluntary retirement and compensation packages. Wolfgang Riecker, a Ford spokesman, said the decision was made due to an "extremely difficult competitive situation." Ford has about 20,600 jobs at its Cologne plant and another 7,3000 at its other German site in Saarlouis. Ford in Europe loss $525 million (€450 million) in the second quarter of this year, dragging overall quarterly profit at the automaker down 27 percent.