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FORD: Fix or Repair Daily?

"What is Ford an abbreviation for?" asks the old riddle. "Fix or repair daily," is the joke's reply. The response is meant as a reference to Ford's unsavory reputation for shaky quality, but these days, it could also refer to Ford's business plan.

On Monday, announced plans to eliminate up to 30,000 manufacturing jobs, cut 4,000 salaried , and close fourteen plants by 2012. The ensuing media buzz continued on Tuesday when the company dumped its head of sales and marketing, Steve Lyons, a 33-year Ford veteran who'd been in his current job for less than a year.

"These cuts are a painful last resort," CEO Bill Ford said. He's probably right. The latest reshufflings come just four years after the company unveiled a similar plan to revive itself, a strategy that included cutting 20,000 jobs and shutting down several factories. Those moves failed to slow Ford's falling profits or dwindling market share. The new plan, which Ford calls the "Way Forward," is very likely a last resort. If it fails, another common answer to the Ford abbreviation joke might apply to the company itself: found on road dead.

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Found on road dead or first on race day? How about fudged over rebuilt dodgeress

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