A German business weekly reported Wednesday (26/07/00) that Ford Motor Co.'s European operations will lose a net 4.2 billion marks ($2.02 billion) in 2000,Ford (F), based in Dearborn, Mich., wasn't immediately available for comment on the magazine story.

According to Focus Money, Nick Scheele, head of Ford Europe, said the auto maker will spend 3.4 billion marks on the closure of factories and restructuring, and that the company will suffer an operating loss "at the level of a year ago," which amounted to 800 million marks.This doesn't include the Volvo and Jaguar units, the magazine reported.

The U.S. car maker's European arm has just completed a restructuring plan that included cutting capacity by about 300,000 vehicles, closing a plant in Poland and ending car production at its Dagenham plant near London.Mr. Scheele told the German magazine that 2000 sales will drop 10%, largely as a result of exchange rate fluctuations, which will account for a drop of 8%.

A significant turnaround won't come ahead of 2002, he added.He also said Ford Europe isn't negotiating a link with German auto maker Volkswagen AG. "There are definitely no talks about taking a stake in VW," Focus Money quoted Mr. Scheele as saying.