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There once was a time when quality was job one at Ford, but according to Merrill Lynch analysts recently it's been more like "job two", right behind cost cutting through employee headcount reductions. When Merrill analyst John Murphy gave FoMoCo a bump from "sell" to "neutral" he said a part of the reason was he expects more job cuts:

"Ford is currently a repeat of the old revitalization. However, it is on the verge of being accelerated with the update expected by mid September. We believe the key is accelerating headcount reduction."

Well, at least there's something over there is "job one" — hopefully the "Way Forward" gameplan will provide for a return to the original one. By the way, we're still waiting on that gameplan from Ford, Field and Co...maybe it'll be in today's mail, but somehow we doubt it. The clock's ticking.

Ford reportedly plans more job cuts [CNN/Money]

The Ford Earnings Call: The Way Forward Is Even Better Than The Real Thing [internal]