updated 10/30/2006 11:29:39 AM ET 2006-10-30T16:29:39

Ford Motor Co. expects North American production to be down 8 percent to 12 percent for the first six months of 2007 from the same period this year as it works to bring manufacturing in line with lower demand for its vehicles.

The estimate by Chief Financial Officer Don Leclair, reported by Automotive News, was confirmed Monday by Ford spokesman Oscar Suris. Production in the second half of next year, Suris said, was expected to be up 5 percent to 10 percent compared with the second half of 2006.

Suris didn’t have production numbers for the first and second half of this year to offer detail on the comparison.

When Ford announced a round of production cuts in August, it said its production plan called for building about 1.8 million vehicles in the first half of 2006 and about 1.3 million vehicles in the second half.

For 2006, Ford has said production would be down about 9 percent compared with 2005.

Based on those numbers, Ford would build between about 1.5 million to 1.6 million vehicles in the first half of 2007 and between about 1.3 million and 1.4 million in the second half of the year.

A week ago, Ford posted a $5.8 billion loss due to sagging North American sales and huge costs associated with a massive restructuring plan. It was the largest quarterly loss in more than 14 years for the nation’s second-biggest automaker.

Ford shares fell in morning trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, where they have traded in a 52-week range of $6.06 to $9.48.

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