Lear Corporation, the world’s fifth-largest auto supplier, announced on Thursday that it would cut about 150 hourly jobs in the United States by shifting some operations to Canada, Associated Press reported.


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Lear blamed vehicle makers’ production cuts for excess capacity, AP said.

Citing Lear spokeswoman Andrea Puchalsky, AP said that the company expects to complete the layoffs by the end of July at a Romulus, Michigan, plant as it moves seat production for Ford’s Windstar minivans to Windsor, Ontario.

Workers at the plant, which employs about 200 people, were told of the pending layoffs last week. It will continue making seats for Ford’s Mercury Cougars, Puchalsky told AP.

On Monday, Lear reduced its 2001 earnings forecast by 13 cents a share, blaming Ford’s plans to scale back by 60,000 units its production of Explorer sport utility vehicles, Ranger pickup trucks and other models.

Ford made the production cuts to free up supplies for its Bridgestone-Firestone tyre replacement programme.

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