Ford said on Thursday it will maintain its 2003 earnings guidance despite Detroit’s intensifying price war, Reuters reported.

“We’ve kept our earnings guidance for this year,” chairman and chief executive officer Bill Ford Jr. reportedly told reporters on a tour of the company’s new Rouge manufacturing complex in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.

Ford has previously said it expects to hit its earnings target of 70 cents per share in 2003, Reuters noted.

“We are meeting or exceeding our goals at every step of the way,” Ford told Reuters, referring to a multi-year turnaround plan aimed at achieving its goal of $US7 billion in pre-tax annual profits by mid-decade.

According to the news agency, Ford said one of the company’s biggest achievements in recent months has been in its effort to cut costs.

“One of the effects that has kept us on track for our full earnings, in spite of huge incentives out there, has been the way we’ve aggressively attacked costs,” he said, according to Reuters.