Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mulally said the auto maker is moving faster than expected to shrink U.S. capacity to better match market demand. Ford, which had losses of about $7 billion in the first nine months of 2006, is shaving more than 30,000 U.S. hourly jobs this year and closing seven assembly plants by 2010 in an effort to stem losses and reverse negative cash flow. "I would characterize that we are ahead of schedule on that restructuring," Mr. Mulally said at an analyst conference in Dearborn, Michigan. "Our No. 1 priority is to restructure ourselves in the near term." As part of the restructuring, Ford is working to consolidate its dealer network. Mr. Mulally also said the company is looking over its brand portfolio and considering what changes might be needed to improve profitability and ensure consistency.
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