Ford Europe chief operating officer Martin Leach said at the Paris motor show today that the unit planned to post a significant profit improvement for this year and next year and had in fact slightly raised its profit target, Reuters reported.

Leach also told Reuters he expected the Ford brand to boost its market share in Europe to nine percent at about the end of this year from 8.8% now.

Leach told Reuters that no further job cuts were needed to achieve 100% capacity utilisation, up from 93% currently.

Since the beginning of 1999, Ford has cut its European workforce to just under 60,000 staff from 97,000, Reuters said, adding that Ford Europe had achieved net cost reductions of $1.2 billion since the beginning of 2000.

"We've put our fixed cost structure at the right level," Leach told Reuters.