It has been reported that Ford Europe chief, Nick Scheele, has denied Ford is interested in acquiring a stake in German carmaker Volkswagen.

In an interview with Germany's financial magazine Focus Money, Scheele said " there are definitely no talks about acquiring a stake in VW." He also said turnover will fall by 10% in 2000.

Altogether, the losses of the U.S. firm in Europe (excluding financial businesses, Volvo and Jaguar) will total 4.2 billion Deutsche marks.

The company will spend U.S. $1.6 billion on restructuring and the closure of factories, Scheele said. Operating losses will remain at " the last year's level," he added.

The weak euro is responsible for about 8% of the 10% turnover loss because Ford does its accounts in dollars.

Scheele sees a "clear improvement" in 2002. Scheele predicts a 4-5% rise in pretax returns in 2003.