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Ford says auto industry needs more Europe output cuts

The logo of carmaker Ford is pictured in a corridor at a Ford factory in Cologne February 4, 2013. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
The logo of carmaker Ford is pictured in a corridor at a Ford factory in Cologne February 4, 2013. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

DEARBORN, Michigan (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co's European chief Stephen Odell on Thursday said that the industry production cuts of 1.5 million to 2 million vehicles in Europe that have occurred or are announced still leave output well above demand.

Ford estimates that Europe's auto industry, after those cuts are realized, will still be making at least 4 million vehicles a year - more than market demand.

Ford expects to lose $2 billion in Europe in 2013. In late October, Ford said it would close three plants and cut 6,200 jobs in Europe by 2014.

Odell told reporters at company headquarters that Ford is maintaining its sales forecast of 13.5 million vehicles in 19 Western Europe nations.

Ford's sales in those 19 markets for June were 6.4 percent higher than a year ago, while the overall industry saw a drop of 6.6 percent in new vehicle sales, Odell said.

Ford's European plan calls for it to maintain its 7.9 percent market share in Europe this year and post profits in the region by mid-decade. In June, Ford's European market share was 8.2 percent, up 1 percentage point from last June.

Ford said that June was the third straight month that it made year-on-year sales gains.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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