DEARBORN, MI--Ford Motor Co. slashed its full-year 2001 earnings forecast and said it would cut 4,000 to 5,000 white-collar jobs in North America by the end of the year to streamline its business and become more competitive. The job cuts will be achieved largely through retirements.

The company has been struggling to recover from tire recalls, shrinking profits and quality problems. It would record an after-tax charge of about $700 million, or $0.40 per share, in the fourth quarter to cover the cost of the workforce reduction.

According to Jacques Nasser, president and CEO, "These actions will help us operate the business more efficiently, streamline our organization and align our business skill base with future needs."