Ford Motor Company's U.S. hourly-paid employees will receive an average profit sharing cheque for $6,700, Ford president and CEO Jacques Nasser announced today.

The amount compares with a payout of $8,000 for 1999, which remains the profit-sharing record at Ford. The third-best payout was for 1998, when the average was $6,100.

Individual cheques will be distributed across the United States on Wednesday, March 7.

Ford had approximately 103,000 active U.S. hourly workers on the rolls at the end of 2000, the vast majority of them represented by the UAW.

Of those, 79,000 work at Ford sites and 24,000 are hourly Ford employees working at Visteon Corp. in the United States. Approximately 110,000 cheques will be issued. The difference is attributable to replacement of retirees, other attrition and new hires.

The money that goes into the profit sharing plan is based on profits and sales of Ford's U.S. operations, excluding certain non-automotive subsidiaries. Individual payments are based on the amount of pay earned by each worker during calendar year 2000, which means that pay scales and overtime are figured into the cheques.