Ford slashes global adspend after $8.7bn losses

LONDON - Ford slashed its worldwide marketing spend by $200m to just $100m in the second quarter of 2008, in which it has reported a record global net loss of $8.7bn.

Its marketing spend includes advertising and sales promotion, but not incentives, for all Ford brands.

Ford's main problem is in North America where it posted a pre-tax loss of $1.3bn, compared with a loss of $270m a year ago.

It attributed the bad result to soaring gasoline prices and its unfavourable volume and mix of full-size pick-up trucks and SUVs.

On a more positive note Ford posted profits of $582m in Europe, up from $262m a year ago, and $388m in South America, up from $255m.

Ford plans to turn the business around by aggressively moving toward producing smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.

It will add six small cars to North America from its European range from 2010, including the Fiesta and Focus.

The company will convert three truck and SUV plants in the US and Mexico to produce some of the new cars, while doubling its output of hybrids and four-cylinder engines.

Ford also plans to reduce costs and cut its workforce.

Alan Mullaly, Ford president and CEO, said: "The second half will continue to be challenging, but we have absolutely the right plan to respond to the changing business environment and begin to grow again for the long term.

"We continue to make progress on every element of our plan, and we are accelerating the transformation of Ford into a lean global company that delivers profitable growth for all."