Ford reports 'unprecedented' losses

US carmaker Ford has announced full-year losses of $14.6 billion (£10.2 billion) after an "extraordinary slowdown" in sales worldwide.

Despite the significant losses the manufacturer said it still has no plans to ask the US government for loans to help it through the recession, and instead insisted it was on track to recover the profits when the economy picks up.

Ford, which is America's biggest carmaker, said that losses in the fourth quarter to December 31 reached as low as $5.9 billion (£4.1 billion).

The losses, which compare to a $2.7 billion (£1.9 billion) loss in 2007, are a result of fall in demand, ongoing restructuring programmes - including job losses - and writedowns on the value of its assets.

The company, which employs around 35,000 people across the country in product development, manufacturing, sales and marketing, and service roles, has announced it would make 1,200 redundancies in its financing arm, Ford Motor Credit.

Chief executive Alan Mulally said: "Things are so volatile... this is unprecedented."

Ford has four manufacturing bases in the UK at Dagenham in Essex, Bridgend, Southampton and Halewood, and around 550 dealerships across the country.

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